Monday, June 23, 2014

Million Star Review! The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons



The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler's armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander's impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

THOUGHTS

OK, so... The Bronze Horseman is EPIC! A masterpiece, a real MUST READ, in these days, when the War stories are so popular! I can't believe I have just now heard about it!

WW2... you will never feel the same about it again, because, after this story, it's like you've walked right through it! All you have heard about this book making you FEEL everything it describes... it's totally true. And if you haven't heard about it yet, believe me, it DOES make you feel everything. Things you thought you'd never feel, things you thought you're safe from feeling, because they're long gone. We live in a different world right now, aren't we?

Coming from an Ex- Communist country myself, I know that all the historical parts are true. I was lucky enough to be born only a few years before the end of the Regime and I practically don't remember anything myself, but my grandparents, my parents and even my husband told me a lot about it.

It took me about two weeks to finish reading it, because it's so, so intense, that I had to take it in small(er) doses. But this doesn't mean that I could put it down, just that, after reading like crazy for many hours, I would feel the need to get off the story for a while.
“Courage, Alexan­der,” she whis­pered.
“Courage, Ta­tiana.”
The writing style is very descriptive, but all the details are important and meant to create the FEELING of the story. I loved it very much and never once thought of it as being boring.

I've hated Shura for 90% of the time it took me to read the book. In fact, I'm not entirely certain that I don't hate him right now. Not that I don't love him, not that I don't love them, their faith in each other, their insecurities, because the entire story took my breath away! I've dreamed of it, found myself thinking about what I would have done if I was born back then, questioning their choices, mostly his, because she was so young, that you can't help but forgive all her bad ones.
“Ask yourself these three questions, Tatiana Metanova, and you will know who you are. Ask: what do you believe in? What do you hope for? But most important - ask: what do you love?

... I know who I am, she thought, taking his hand [...]. I am Tatiana. And I believe in, and hope for, and love Alexander for life.”
This book has over 900 Kindle pages full of everything a romance lover can think of: love, happiness, sorrow, jealousy, betrayals. Sure, there were some parts of their romance that I thought to be a bit overdramatized. Still, they are plausible and very well written, even if they couldn't bring tears to my eyes. I was sad, enraged, sickened, I threw away the book, only to pick it up again in 2 hours, but I've never cried. Maybe I was too stunned or too full of anger to even cry. It's definitely a possibility!
Tatiana warmed her eyes, so she could look at him with the truth that was inside her. “I really am not all right without you,” she said. “I can’t manage.”

“I know,” Alexander said.
My tears did come at some points, at scenes about or related to food. I found those scenes extremely heartbreaking.

The novel as a whole just breaks your heart. It stirs millions of emotions coming at you one by one and making you crazier than you would have been if they had come flooding you all at once. It all blends together so, so well! Bad things are there and you hate them and you think that's the worst that can happen, and then, after another 10% of reading you find yourself saying: "How could I have thought that to be the worst? That was such an easy time! Now is infinitely worse, this is the worst!" But after another 5% you start again with this phrase.
“Not bombs nor my broken heart can take away from me walking barefoot with you in jasmine June through the Field of Mars.”
I could talk forever about it! It's the kind of book that finds a place in your soul and never leaves! The kind of book that starts endless discussions on a multitude of subjcts, such as: history, war, politics, death, life, love, sacrifice, and many, many more. It's the best book I've read so far and I feel like I can't describe exactly how much it made me feel, if you know what I mean.
Some words were like that. Whole lives attached to them. Ghosts and lives and ecstasy and sorrow.
I don’t know what else to say about The Bronze Horseman. It’s too intense and it messes with your feelings in a way that it’s hard to put into words. The only way to truly understand is to read it and see for yourselves. It will be hard for me to find another novel better than this one.

So please, read it now and tell me what do you feel about it.
“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.”
Happy reading!



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3 comments:

Cristina Elena said...

Well Cris, this is a book (a series) that you have recommended to me and I'm thankful for. (not the first book or series that I'm thankful for!)
I like your review, you have managed to point the story and the action, even if the novel has a lot of pages.
And yes, I agree with you about a lots of things after I read this novel, about the WW2, about the life of the ordinary people during the wars and I can go on..
God, we could have a good chat about this novel for hours, approving or arguing.
I read it and I tell you that I loved the first book too. I don't know yet how I like the second one. I'll tell you these days.
Happy reading all! Don't miss this story!

CCAM said...

You know... time is short..er and, because of your not so short recomandations, my short-ish TBR list becomes longer and longer...

alexa ioana said...

OMG, pe zi ce trece ador tot mai mult cartea asta <3
recenzia este foarte frumoasa, iar citatele alese sunt atat de profunde, de magice...si triste in acelasi timp
cartea asta cred ca este un amalgam de senzatii si tariri

Si soarele e o stea