Title: The Bronze Horseman
Author: Paullina Simons
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Adult
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
During the summer of 1941 the Metanov family are living a hard life in Leningrad. As the German armies advance their future looks bleak. For Tatiana, love arrives in the guise of Alexander, who harbours a deadly and extraordinary secret.
The Bronze Horseman was a book I really, really wanted to like. A good friend of mine recommended it to me and sang praises about it, which convinced me to grab a copy as soon as I saw it at a secondhand bookstore.
I suppose the premise itself is interesting enough, although the formula is nothing new: star-crossed lovers in the midst of a war, will they ever get together??
The one thing I appreciated about this book was how it was set in Russia just as World War II was starting. The book encompasses the span of the war and you get to see how people struggled to live during this time. There’s a ton of books set in WWII but most of the books I’ve read are set in the UK or countries occupied by the Nazis, etc. Russia is an interesting setting, considering their Communist government. It’s quite different from other countries.
That being said, I didn’t like much more about the book. I thought it was unnecessarily long, and watching Tatiana and Alexander dance around each other while trying to hide their feelings from being discovered by other people got old fast enough.
I also think, if you took away the historical setting, this would be just another typical romance. Girl meets boy, boy is attached to another (in this case, Tatiana’s sister), they fall in love anyway, they meet in secret, basically it’s all you-and-me-against-the-world stuff. >_<
I thought Tatiana was an annoying heroine, and her development from naive, idiotic girl to Mary Sue loved by all just didn’t amuse me at all. I just don’t understand how anyone can like her. She starts off as a selfish brat, then becomes a martyr who endures all her family’s abuse, then ends up being a Mary Sue who is ~perfect and smart and has everyone falling for her. She’s also a damsel in distress who always has to end up being saved by Alexander or someone else.
Alexander is a more interesting character, given his ~secret past, but I ended up not liking him either in the long run. Probably because he gives in way too much to Tatiana’s whims, it’s kinda annoying. Oop.
Honestly? I think the one part I thoroughly enjoyed was when Alexander finally couldn’t take it anymore and started yelling at Tatiana for causing all the heartache they had to go through. (Which was totally justified, imo.)
I’d yell myself for wasting my time too, but I’m too busy congratulating myself for actually finishing this long, long book despite the many urges I had to just throw it at the wall.
The book ends in a cliffhanger of sorts (sigh) and I guess I’ll try to read the next book (even though I’m not invested in the characters AT ALL) in the hopes that the sequel is better.
Please let it be better, book gods.