by Paullina Simons
Released: March 17th 2009
Series: The Bronze Horseman #1
Published by William Morrow
Narrator: John Lee
Length: 30 hrs and 6 mins
“THE BRONZE HORSEMAN is as vivid as a motion picture. A story as simple as a boy and a girl, except there’s nothing ordinary about these two characters. An epic love story, one that will stay with me for a long time.”
~ Under the Covers
There are stories that are meant to touch your heart just by how raw they are. This is one of them. THE BRONZE HORSEMAN is heartbreakingly beautiful. Not in the tear-jerker kind of way if that makes sense. Just in the true, raw and intense way the lives of two people that love each other deeply can be. This is the beginning of the romance between Tatiana and Alexander, starting off in the streets of Leningrad and through the trying times of WWII.
Tatiana is young, only 16 years old at the beginning of the story and a week away from her 17th birthday, but as we may already know those were not times for kids to be kids. She’s always been a grown up in her family. She is a caretaker and always puts others first. This is also a quality that sets in motion a lot of her heartache in this book. She faces so much adversity from her home life, to trying to survive through times of war. The lack of food, the disease around her, the deaths. These are trying times that constantly test her and push her to become a woman.
“I found my true love on Ulita Saltykov-Schedrin, while I sat on a bench eating ice cream.”
“You didn’t find me. You weren’t even looking for me. I found you.”
“Alexander, were you … looking for me?”
“All my life.”
Adding to that she meets the love of her life. A soldier in the Red Army. Beautiful Alexander, oh how I fell in love with him too through her eyes. But they can’t be together. There are many circumstances they fight. Just as they fight to stay alive. But that love never wanes, it only grows until it consumes both of them, and the reader along with them.
“There are some battles, no matter how much you don’t want to fight them, that you just have to fight. That are worth giving your life for.”
These two are definitely the most selfless and giving people I’ve read about. They truly will give everything up for the one they love. Whether that means happiness, or their life. Time and time again. Just as Tatiana said in one quote of the book about the definition of love, this is what they embodied. They know and do always what’s best for the other.
“Love is,” she repeated slowly, looking only at Dasha, “when he is hungry and you feed him. Love is knowing when he is hungry.”
When I had read about people saying this might be the most epic love story ever told, I thought they were exaggerating. But it just might be! Just in this book there were so many ups and downs, so much happiness and so much heartbreak, that I can only imagine what’s yet to come in the next two books.
The author’s writing flows easily and lets you get lost in the story. Although at times I consider it was a bit too descriptive, I happen to enjoy the details we were getting, but I can see how others may find some of the day to day details a bit unnecessary. I think they depict the setting of the story in the exact necessary way for you to feel each moment. I did find some of the language to be maybe a bit inaccurate for the times, it felt a bit modern sometimes. In the end though, this is not historical fiction. We don’t get an accurate account of war other than how the times affected our main characters. This is a romance and this book focuses on that. Focuses on the characters. Not on war.
His heart was thundering in his chest, as if he were going into battle. Tatiana looked up, saw him, and covered her face with her hands. Alexander watched everyone get up and rush to her, the old ladies showing unexpected agility and speed. She pushed them all away, pushed the table away, pushed the bench away, and ran to him. Alexander was paralyzed by his emotion. He wanted to smile, but he thought any second he was going to fall to his knees and cry. He dropped all his gear, including his rifle. God, he thought, in a second I’m going to feel her. And that’s when he smiled.
THE BRONZE HORSEMAN is as vivid as a motion picture. A story as simple as a boy and a girl, except there’s nothing ordinary about these two characters. An epic love story, one that will stay with me for a long time. And one I can’t wait to dive back in as soon as the next audiobook releases!
“Some words were like that. Whole lives attached to them. Ghosts and lives and ecstasy and sorrow.”
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