[562]: The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons


The Bronze Horseman / Paullina Simons

I have an insatiable appetite for historical romance. Epic love stories that usually take place during the war. There’s just something about overcoming difficult situations that make the romance even that much more remarkable — unforgettable. The passion is more intense. I’m convinced that the added danger elevates it to another level.

The Bronze Horseman is a beast that I’ve been meaning to slay for years now.  I’ve read so many glowing reviews about this book/series. Unfortunately, an eight-hundred-pager was something I could not afford – time wise.  So for months after I got my Audible account, I’ve been checking to see if this book was available for download. Fast forward to now, and I’m sitting here afflicted with the worst case of book hangover.

If you must know, the book is set in World War II Russia. The Germans are on the attack. We find a very young Tatiana on an errand to buy supplies to get them through a war that set the country in a panic. With her red dress and heeled sandals, she looked older than her barely 17 years of age. While waiting for her bus, she buys an ice cream ( creme brûlée). The imagery speaks of how carefree she is even with the news of a German invasion. She even forgets the list of things she needed to buy. There wasn’t any sense of urgency. While she was waiting for the bus, she notices a decorated soldier watching her every move. He’s handsome. He approaches her, then they talk a little. They get on the bus. They wait each other out. As if they’re playing chickens. Soon, the bus empties leaving her, the soldier,  and the bus driver.  It was such a unassuming meeting. Uneventful. But while all those were happening, I had a sense that something bad was going to happen right there and then. So I wait. And I wait.

That pretty much sums up how I felt while reading this novel. I was kept in suspense, but most of the time, of my own making. I was always waiting for the bad things to happen, because – well, the book is about a Russian army officer who was harbouring a very dangerous secret, and there was one person who knew how to use this knowledge to his advantage. Also, because the book was about war, in a place that doesn’t prosper liberty to begin with. Tatiana and Alexander also has to keep their relationship under wraps, so as much as this book was about romance, my heart was going a mile a minute because I was kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This book may look daunting at first, but I promise you that you will not be able to put it down. It will have you mesmerized from the first page until the very last. The ending may have destroyed a piece of my soul. But I take comfort in the fact that I have the next book in the series. It was everything I’ve expected and everything I didn’t. Paullina Simons spun a web so intrinsically crafted that a reader will not have no choice but to read upon bated breath.


GOODREADS SUMMARY | September, 2009 | 810 pp. | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars 


  • When I was younger I would have read this in a heartbeat, but now I just can’t do over 800 pages-but I am really glad you like it this much!

  • Nicole Hewitt

    Glad you ended up loving this – I remember reading your comments about it on Twitter and I was very intrigued!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  • Sara Walker

    I think I want this book in my life! What a beast though. 800+ pages and over 30 hours! But you have convinced me to read this, Joy. So onto the TBR it goes! Now to decide whether to do the audiobook or try to read the beast!!

  • Adriana C

    This book had been on my TBR list for a while, and I keep reading great reviews about it, but for some reason I keep pushing it to the end of the lis. Thanks for your review.

  • I’ve seen so much about this book and I was very intrigued. But, I don’t really read anything without some form of fantasy in it. I am a sucker for the second world war though, something about it is just so heartbreakingly alluring. Lovely review Joy, I may actually check this out. 🙂

  • I’m so glad you loved this one as well Joy! This book was just so romantic and it makes my heart soar. I read it on the trains in Japan and it was unforgettable. I still have to read the sequels, however. Lovely review!

  • Ahh, this book looks so pretty 😀 So thrilled that you loved this one Joy 😀 YAY! I think it sounds all kinds of interesting. But I’m not ready for it just yet, lol. But so so curious. You make it seem amazing 🙂 Thank you for sharing about it sweet girl. <3 So happy that you loved it.

  • It seems like everyone on my Goodreads friends list has read this book, half of them love it, and the other half absolutely hate it! Curious.

    I am a sucker for books set during either of the World Wars, and also for them being set in either Russia or Germany. I think I will have to add this one to my list! Great review Joy 🙂

  • I hadn’t even heard about it until you mentioned it not too long ago. Hopefully I’ll get to give it a try soon.

  • Like you and Joy below, I’ve also had this one on my TBR for ages. I actually didn’t know it was that long, that is definitely a little intimidating. I’m really glad you liked it though, that gives me the push I need to finally pick it up soon!

  • I’ve been wanting to read this book for years, but like you Joy, the 800+ pages has been quite off-putting. I don’t have the time for that either, but listening to it on Audible sounds like the way to go! Everyone that has read the Bronze Horseman has LOVED it, so I’m very excited to finally start this one 😀

  • I’ve seen some rave reviews for this one on good reads. While huge books can be daunting, they can also be so rewarding. Glad this one was worth it!

  • Melliane

    It’s true that it’s a lot of pages but well I’m glad it was worth it because it sounds really good!

  • Thank you for putting this book on my radar! I just hopped over to goodreads to preview the first chapter, and Paullina Simons writing is so stunningly beautiful from what I can tell. 800+ pages is daunting, but I don’t think I can resist this one. It’s on my wishlist now, so I’m keeping an eye out for it!

  • I’ve yet to hear a single negative review about this! Historicals are so outside my comfort zone, but I had to pick this up. Great review!

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I’ve heard a lot of really good things about this series, so I’m glad to see it kept your attention and lived up to the hype. I definitely have to pick it up soon–it’s been on my TBR for too long! Gorgeous review, Joy! 🙂

  • I haven’t read any books set in World War II, much less in Russia. This seems like an intriguing story too. Great review. Glad you enjoyed it, and sorry a piece of your soul was destroyed 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    I was the same way with the Passage and almost didn’t read it but was so glad I did in the end because I loved it!

    I love this era so I really think, 800 pages or not, I will have to grab this one.

  • Wow! I’m so glad that this was such a wonderful reading experience for you, Joy. I’ve been wanting to try out this series too for the longest but the size of the book is daunting. I think I might go audiobook to with this one. It sounds phenomenal though and I can’t wait to experience that ending!
    Great review, Joy!

  • Jazmen

    Okay, here’s the thing–I do not like historical fiction. I don’t like stories about wars, and old times. Just never got into it. BUT, I have not heard a single bad thing about this book, so I feel sort of tempted. I’ll have to think on it because it really does sound like a great read!

  • This is one of favorite historical romances of my co-blogger Beatrix. She’s been trying to make me read it for a long time now, but I keep delaying it because of my hate of love triangles. What to do???

  • Love the cover and good to hear that the romance was passionate

  • Oh wow, 800 pages is an awful lot! I am so glad you were able to wade through it. I love a good historical fiction romance as well – it’s actually my favourite kind! I guess this was mean to be 🙂

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    Wow- this series sounds right up my alley. Do I have to start with book one? I love this time period, so this is definitely something I should check out. Great review!

  • I quite enjoy historical fiction but I haven’t read one in ages! This sounds amazing and although big books daunt me, I’ll definitely find time to read this one. Wonderful review! 🙂

  • Bec

    I’ve heard so much about this series! Was a bit hesitant because WWII isn’t the historical era I tend to go for (I love my pre-1900s novels) but it sounds so good I may just have to try it.

  • I want to read it, it’s just…we have this dislike for Russia since they tried to conquer us during WWII. It does not really go away

  • bornandread

    Oh man, the sweet, sweet feels this book gave me. It was the first proper romance that I read, and nothing has ever come to close to it again. There were no other books in the series when I read it as well, so that piece of my soul that died at the end had to wait a long time to be healed (although, just quietly, the next books don’t come close to this one!).