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Bronze Horseman


Bronze Horseman

2.5 (1104)

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    Available in PDF Format | Bronze Horseman.pdf | English
    Paullina Simons(Author)

A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the bestselling author of Tully, Red Leaves and Eleven Hours.

Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg.

Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents.

The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On that fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young man named Alexander.

The family suffers as Hitler’s army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn inexorably to each other, but theirs is a love that could tear Tatiana’s family apart, and at its heart lies a secret that could mean death to anyone who hears it.

Confronted on the one hand by Hitler’s vast war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.

Pulling off the passionate love story embedded in a truly epic narrative is a difficult thing to do. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind remains the blueprint for the genre, while Tolstoy's War and Peace carries off the literary honours with the Pierre/Natasha/André ménage, itself a blueprint for Mitchell's Brett/Scarlett/Ashley musical chairs. Paullina Simons' ambitious The Bronze Horseman weighs in at nearly 700 pages, and it's quickly apparent that the Russian-born author has the measure of this kind of epic romantic saga. The power of her descriptive writing, the vividness of the historical detail and, most of all, the strength of her central characters mark out her novel as a considerable achievement.

3.5 (3958)
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Book details

  • PDF | 576 pages
  • Paullina Simons(Author)
  • William Morrow & Company (Jun. 2001)
  • English
  • 7
  • Fiction
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Review Text

  • By annoushkadomynique on 18 May 2014

    My heart of stone has been shattered into a thousand pieces. It feels like a pickaxe has been taken to it and damn, it hurts. The Bronze Horseman is like no other book I’ve read before, so many authors have tried and failed to bring me down but Paullina Simons rose to the challenge and crushed me like a bug. I may never be the same again.This will probably be one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written, I can’t seem to put my thoughts coherently into sentences; I’m still reeling from all the emotion! The Bronze Horseman is a tale of suffering, survival and above all what it means to be in love.“Love is,” she repeated slowly, looking only at Dasha, “when he is hungry and you feed him. Love is knowing when he is hungry”Although this isn’t the type of book I’d normally go for I decided to pick it up anyway. I’m going to be honest here and say that it intimidated me. First of all, it’s a chunk of a book and I didn’t think I’d actually manage to read it all. And secondly, its historical fiction, so to say that it’s out of my comfort zone is an understatement. Historical fiction hasn’t ever been one of my go to genres let alone historical fiction with a boatload of romance!Time ceased to exist while reading this, I was so invested in Tatiana and Alexanders story that I simply couldn’t put the book down. Whenever I didn’t have the book to hand my thoughts were with it. I was desperate to find out what horrors Tatia and Shura would have to face next in this hell bent society. I found myself ignoring family and friends so I could fully immerse myself in their story. Who has time to do anything else while reading such an epic book? What is food? What is this thing called the outside world that people rave about? Who needs a social life when there is fiction? Let me tell you now, my ignorance was worth it as this book has taken me on an emotion fuelled journey.Paullina Simons writing is not only heart achingly beautiful but also incredibly descriptive. I felt like I had been transported to Russia and was in the midst of it all surrounded by these characters I’d grown to know and love so well. With her writing being so descriptive you can imagine how sexually explicit it got; yeah… this isn’t for younger readers."Why did we spend two days fighting when we could have been doing this?""That wasn't fighting, Tatiana. That was foreplay.”Never have I cried so much while reading a book, my heart feels weak from all the damage its taken and yet I still want more. I know for certain that this will always have a place in my heart and will be a re-read time and time again. I can only hope that I’ve convinced some of you to give it a chance, as I’d love to be able to discuss it further.After reading The Bronze Horseman I knew I had to buy the next two instalments in the trilogy. I was meant to be buying holiday clothes but instead have chosen fiction; my order from Amazon should be coming tomorrow. My mum thinks that I’m ridiculously sad for desperately wanting the next two books but she just doesn’t understand. I’m slightly nervous to continue reading, as with the way this one ended I’m not sure I can handle any more heartbreak. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

  • By Donna Clements on 4 October 2010

    Like other reviewers, I am a massive Paulina Simons fan, and eagerly await her new releases. This was a strange one - I loved the first three quarters of the book, and found it un-put-down-able. The characters were well drawn and I loved that the story shifted from Larissa's to Jared's perspective and back again. However, I found Larissa completely unlike-able pretty much from the beginning, and it was only in the early stages of her relationship with Kai that I found anything likeable in her at all. By the time we catch up with Larissa three quarters of the way through the book, from that point on I was actively willing for her life to go wrong and for her to get some kind of revelatory comeuppance. I was totally dissatisfied with the way she was able to separate her before and after lives during one small and barely described sea voyage. She was so unlikeable I even started to wonder what Kai was doing with her! I am all for an anti-hero, but I never really "got" Larissa - or was that maybe the point?All in all, I give this three stars because for the majority of the book I could not put it down, but it loses two stars because I was ultimately disappointed with the last quarter of the book. My advice would be to read any other Paulina Simons novel - The Girl in Times Square is my absolute favourite, and Tully was life altering when I first read it when it was released - it has had more influence on my adult reading than any other book I can think of.

  • By justjaney on 14 March 2016

    I can't believe how much this book affected me. I woke my husband up during many nights due to the sobbing noises I made. No book has ever made me smile, laugh and cry more. It is without doubt the best book I have ever read. The story is out of this world but the way it's written takes you right there with the characters. You are living and breathing right along with them, and when it's time to put the book down (well the kids don't feed themselves and the washing up doesn't magically disappear) you have to literally suck yourself from that world back to reality. It truly is a beautiful book with very deep and loveable characters. There's nothing I can think of that is wrong with this book and there is nothing that needs changing. It is a very long book but when you start reading you soon get through it and become grateful it's that long because you just don't want it to end. I came across this book by someone writing a review on another so I looked it up. If you miss out on this then I pity you because you really are missing a gem of a book. The characters will stay with you for a long time after you've finished.

  • By Janet Allison on 27 December 2012

    This is story-telling at its best. Fascinating historical events, and characters to care about and to make the history personal. The hero is everything you want in a hero; the heroine is cracking. One of those stories you absorb and which live with you ever afterwards. Not the best writing in the world; some of it is patchy, some passages in the narrative are a little clunky. But overall, this is what stories are for--to entertain, and to broaden your experience of life. I have now lived through the siege of Leningrad, survived famine and war, and experienced life in the Soviet Union. And that's before I even start on Alexander...

  • By Peggy G on 9 March 2010

    I have long been a fan of Paullina Simons and always eagerly await her next book - this one was not really worth the wait though. It starts off very well - true Paullina style - you get really involved with the characters and can empathise them all. It kept me involved the whole way through as I was so keen to know what happens. The ending was such a disappointment though. Larissa seemed to have totally changed character - you wonder how she can suddenly have become not only selfish, but dense. Then for the final few chapters it seemed to be a real quick tying up of all the ends just so that everyone is accounted for rather than that there was much story line involved.

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