Misfit's Reviews > The Bronze Horseman

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
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's review
Mar 17, 09

bookshelves: historical-fiction, historical-romance
Read in March, 2009

The Bronze Horseman begins in 1941 as the Germans have just invaded Russia, but seventeen year old Tatiana Metanova still stops to enjoy the day with an ice-cream, and as a bus passes she sees a soldier staring at her from across the street. Alexander Belov is mesmerized from the first at the sight of Tatiana, but is in for a surprise when he follows her home and finds her sister is a woman he's met before - and that sister thinks Alexander is in love with her. Out of love for her older sister, Tatiana keeps silent and encourages Alexander to court Dasha. Much of the story continues as the Germans advance on Leningrad, finally resulting in a siege of the city as Tatiana and her family struggles to survive amidst the ever growing shortage of food and fuel, along with the oncoming Russian winter. When on leave Alexander continues to involve himself with the Metanova family, not able to stay away from Tatiana even though he must hide his feelings for her, although his "friend" Dimitri openly courts Tatiana.

Since I am not into book reports and spoilers I'm not going to reveal much more of the plot, although Alexander does have a deep dark secret from his past that Dimitri holds over Alexander's head that threatens both his and Tatiana's eventual happiness, and finally culminates in a hair-raising attempt to escape from Soviet Russia. The good - the scenes in Leningrad were chilling, as people literally starved to death and dropped where they were (and left there) as bombs rained down around them daily. Alexander's devotion to Tatiana was very endearing, and I loved the scenes where he dealt with her injuries after the bombing. Sigh...

The problematic - Tatiana's never ending suffering at the hands of her family as she sacrifices all during the siege without a word of complaint (you know any seventeen year old who would put up with that??). Just stepping aside and letting her self-centered sister have the man she loves? Tatiana getting a private hospital room in overcrowded Leningrad? Once the cast came off her leg she was pretty much healed and able to trudge up and down icy stairs and streets with no discomfort or slowness? But the worst for me was the idyllic setting around page 600 that went on and on and on and on - I got the picture already and I did not need 100+ pages of nothing but sex and sex and more sex. Where was the editor?

So why am I still giving this one four stars even though I agree with the flaws pointed out by the critical reviewers on Amazon? Since I flat out couldn't keep my nose out of the book and the carpet didn't get vacuumed and the floors didn’t get mopped this weekend, I guess that's a good indication that despite the flaws I was pretty much sucked into the story and thoroughly enjoyed it and plan on reading the next in the trilogy Tatiana and Alexander. Just be warned that if you're not able to get past the nitpicks and the author's somewhat repetitive style, I suspect this is not the book for you.
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Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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message 1: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee Hmmmmmm, four stars in spite of all that eh? I may give it a try for a comfort read.

Misfit A lot of people swear by this and say its the best book ever, although IMHO it's got some flaws. Its worth it though if you can get past them.

message 3: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee heehee, I can always skim past the 100 pages of repetitive sex if the rest is worth it. :-)

Misfit Lee wrote: "heehee, I can always skim past the 100 pages of repetitive sex if the rest is worth it. :-)"

Yeah, when you get to the blueberries you'll know it's safe to skim.

I had to chuckle when she broke her whatever it was bone and barely 4-6 weeks out of the hospital and she's up and down icy stairs and snowy streets without a care in the world about slipping and reinjury. I broke a knee and I know how long that took to heel completely.

The seige of Leningrad is pretty chilling though.

message 5: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee Blueberries, got it. :-)

Yes, I would imagine it would be difficult to suspend disbelief when it's something like a broken leg.

Rima Jean You know, I really liked this book. And I agree with Misfit, that Tatiana's treatment by her family was infuriating. I wanted her to grow a pair, for God's sake! Ok, I get it, she's perfect... ;)

The sex scenes are a bit Outlander-esque and had me rolling my eyes quite a bit. But I too read it very quickly and loved the historical detail.

Susan Just finished this. Liked it, but I agree with you about the pages and pages and pages of sex.

Misfit I see you've started the next one. Prepare yourself for more...

Anna Hehe, yep, that honeymoon went on forever! I also gave this book 4 stars for much the same reasons as you, but am still dithering over whether to continue with the series; #1 had become very melodramatic towards the end. What do you reckon, is it worth carrying on?

Misfit I thought there were good things in book two, even though there was a lot of treading over the same story from his POV, but the last book just went on and on and on and on.

message 11: by Anna (last edited Oct 02, 2012 12:43PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna Yeah, that's the impression I got when I read reviews of #2 and #3 last year. I'll give #2 a whirl sometime, thanks.

Susan Misfit wrote: "I see you've started the next one. Prepare yourself for more..."

Misfit wrote: "I see you've started the next one. Prepare yourself for more..."

I just got an ARC of a book, so I am going to leave dear Alexander and Tatiana for a while and go on a train ride with the Queen.

message 13: by the_cat (new)

the_cat For some reason you lost your rating on this one Misfit. Weird

Misfit Hmmmph. I'll see if I can fix it.

message 15: by Mimi (new)

Mimi I always say that the first two of this series is 80% good historical fiction, and 20% smut. The third is 20% story (not even good) and 80% smut.

Misfit Mimi wrote: "I always say that the first two of this series is 80% good historical fiction, and 20% smut. The third is 20% story (not even good) and 80% smut."

A really good editor could have done a lot of good with these books. I'm getting my hands on the soon-to-be-released prequel about Alexander's parents.

message 17: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Agreed.
Ooooh, that will be an interesting story.

Misfit 6/3/14. $1.99 today on kindle.

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