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"The Bronze Horseman" book review

9-10-2019

AnnaBella Lassiter, Staff Writer

For all those romance readers out there, “The Bronze Horseman” is a phenomenal read to add to the shelf.

The book actually falls under the historical fiction genre. However, the two main characters’ love for each other is too powerful to ignore. In fact, it is the driving force of the novel.

The book opens in 1941, right before the German invasion of the Soviet Union, with young Tatiana Metanova going to the store to get groceries for her family. On her way to the store, she stops at an ice cream stand. Sitting on a bench, she waits for the bus in Leningrad, Russia, with her ice cream cone. A soldier, Alexander Barrington — tall, dark and handsome — walking on the other side of the road glances at her and stops dead in his tracks.

The story is a complete whirlwind from there. 

The story is full of tragedy, betrayal, death and of course, the deepest love story ever attempted by a novelist. The love story experiences several obstacles as the country the story takes place in and suffers under the growing control of Nazi Germany. 

In addition to love, family members and friends are put to the test as the NKVD — the Soviet Union’s secret police — begin digging into the records of people surrounding Tatiana Metanova’s life. Because there are highly suspicious neighbors and soldiers throughout the city, Tatiana must say potential goodbyes. 

Family life is another difficult sphere that is touched upon in the book. Tatiana has complicated relations with her sister, mother, brother and father that create tension within the pages of the book.

It is important to mention that there are a lot of triggering subjects touched on. For example, there is physical violence as the book does take place in the middle of World War II. There is also a great deal of death and travesty described in the book. Again, due to the real tragedy of the siege of Leningrad, Paullina Simons wanted to make the book as authentic as possible, even working with historians to achieve accuracy. Additionally, the relationships in the book can grow violent and toxic. If anyone is sensitive to such content, beware of those scenes.

All in all, the book is one of great love and loss. There are a lot of violent, horrific and tragic events that take place, but these events are also what created a tense, emotional, reading experience worth giving a chance.