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The Bronze Horseman

by Paullina Simons

     

This book is a gripping and heart wrenching journey that haunts the reader long after she has put it down. The Bronze Horseman is a beautiful love story with so much detail and pathos that it becomes real.

Tatiana is only eighteen years old when the war with Germany begins for Russia and her world is ripped apart. Sent to buy food before it becomes scare, she encounters a young Russian officer in the Red Army, Alexander, and they are instantly drawn to each other. It is only later when she realizes her sister, Dasha, has already fallen in love with Alexander that she tries to deny their love.

But, there is no stopping their attraction and Alexander enters into a relationship with her sister to be near Tatiana. As Leningrad is caught, starving, in the grip of the German blitz, Tatiana and Alexander struggle to deny what Tatiana believes should never be. As things worsen, Tatiana and Alexander learn they have to stay together if they have any hopes of surviving.

This book was so much more than a well written story and great plot. The setting is one rife with chances to create a great drama and Simons doesnít disappoint. I was struck by the details she used to recreate Leningrad during the blitz. Everything was so intricately described, from the names of the grocery stores and their exact locations, to which bus to take to the various spots in the city Tatiana and Alexander visit. While Simons lived in Leningrad in her youth, the amount of research this amount of detail necessitated was profound.

Simonís work paid off and in the pages of The Bronze Horseman, Leningrad comes alive. Everything is so vivid and real; the reader can not help but fall into the world of the young lovers and experience the chilling heartache along with them. With such descriptions, the reader can recreate the city and walk it in their mind. This work is thrilling and tense, agonizing and uplifting, but there is never a moment where the reader can lose interest. The spell cast is too fierce.

The Book

Avon / HarperCollins
September 8, 2009
Mass Market Paperback
978-0-06-185414-9 / 006185414X
Historical fiction / WW II Russia
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Excerpt
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The Reviewer

Emily Decobert
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Emily Decobert is the author of Continuing on Alone.
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