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