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The Bronze Horseman

The Bronze Horseman

4.6 307
by Paullina Simons

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Called “a Russian Thorn Birds,” The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons is a sweeping saga of love and war that has been a monumental bestseller all over the world. The acclaimed author of Tully, Simons has written a stirring tale of devotion, passion, secrets, betray, and sacrifice. “A love story both tender and


Called “a Russian Thorn Birds,” The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons is a sweeping saga of love and war that has been a monumental bestseller all over the world. The acclaimed author of Tully, Simons has written a stirring tale of devotion, passion, secrets, betray, and sacrifice. “A love story both tender and fierce” (Publishers Weekly ) that “Recalls Dr. Zhivago” (People Magazine), The Bronze Horseman is rich and vivid historical fiction at its finest.

Editorial Reviews

In a sweeping narrative reminiscent of the epic classic Dr. Zhivago comes a love story that takes place in war-torn Russia during World War II. Named for a statue in Red Square, The Bronze Horseman is a perfect blend of romance, suspense, and intrigue, guaranteed to transport readers to another place and time. The Metanov family, including sisters Tatiana and Dasha, are already eking out a meager existence in recession-stricken Leningrad, when their lives are further disrupted by the forces of war. To Tatiana the fighting brings great fear, but also the man of her dreams -- an officer in the Red Army named Alexander. But these two lovers are as star-crossed as Russia herself, their destinies forged by secrecy, tragedy, and a set of circumstances that makes their shared love a force they can neither deny nor embrace.
Library Journal
In 1941 Leningrad, two sisters share everything including a passion for Red Army officer Alexander. Simons, the author of Tully and other titles, was born and raised in St. Petersburg. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A heart-stopping love story by the author of Tully (St. Martin's, 1995). Teens will also be gripped by descriptions of battles of World War II Europe on the eastern front, when Hitler abrogated the nonaggression pact with Stalin and invaded Russia. The events are told in explicit detail, from battle scenes to the horror of life in Leningrad under siege to passionate lovemaking. Tatiana meets Alexander when she is 16; he is an army officer but soon reveals that he is American by birth, the son of communists who moved to Russia to be part of a new society. They were killed by the secret police when they became disillusioned. Alexander hides his secret from all but one man, Dimitri, who constantly threatens him. Tatiana, living in a cramped apartment with her family, watches her parents, grandmother, and cousin die of starvation. With Alexander's help she escapes from Leningrad and makes her way to the country, staying with distant cousins who nurse her back to health. Tatiana and Alexander are reunited there, and for a brief time live an idyllic life. They marry and he returns to the war. Finally, desperate to escape Russia, the couple decides to leave by way of Finland, but Dimitri again foils their plans. Only Tatiana arrives in America, to give birth to their son on Ellis Island.-Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Field of Mars

Light came through the window, trickling morning all over the room. Tatiana Metanova slept the sleep of the innocent, the sleep of restless joy, of warm, white Leningrad nights, of jasmine June. But most of all, intoxicated with life, she slept the exuberant sleep of undaunted youth.

She did not sleep for much longer.

When the sun's rays moved across the room to rest at the foot of Tatiana's bed, she pulled the sheet over her head, trying to keep the daylight out. The bedroom door opened, and she heard the floor creak once. It was her sister, Dasha.

Daria, Dasha, Dashenka, Dashka.

She represented everything that was dear to Tatiana.

Right now, however, Tatiana wanted to smother her. Dasha was trying to wake her up and, unfortunately, succeeding. Dasha's strong hands were vigorously shaking Tatiana, while her usually harmonious voice was dissonantly hissing, "Psst! Tania! Wake up. Wake up!"

Tatiana. groaned. Dasha pulled back the sheet.

Never was their seven-year age difference more apparent than now, when Tatiana wanted to sleep and Dasha was ...

"Stop it," Tatiana muttered, fishing helplessly behind her for the sheet and pulling it back over her. "Can't you see I'm sleeping? What are you? My mother?"

The door to the room opened. Two creaks on the floor. It was her mother. "Tania? You awake? Get up right now."

Tatiana could never say that her mother's voice was harmonious. There was nothing soft about Irina Metanova. She was small, boisterous, and full of indignant, overflowing energy. She wore a kerchief to keep her hair back from her face, forshe had probably already been down on her knees washing the communal bathroom in her blue summer frock. She looked bedraggled and done with her Sunday.

"What, Mama?" Tatiana said, not lifting her head from the pillow. Dasha's hair touched Tatiana's back. Her hand was on Tatiana's leg, and Dasha bent over as if to kiss her. Tatiana felt a momentary tenderness, but before Dasha could say anything, Mama's grating voice intruded. "Get up quick. There's going to be an important announcement on the radio in a few minutes."

Tatiana whispered to Dasha, "Where were you last night? You didn't come in till well past dawn."

"Can I help it," Dasha whispered with pleasure, "that last night dawn was at midnight? I came in at the perfectly respectable hour of midnight." She was grinning. "You were all asleep."

"Dawn was at three, and you weren't home."

Dasha paused. "I'll tell Papa I got caught on the other side of the river when the bridges went up at three."

"Yes, you do that. Explain to him what you were doing on the other side of the river at three in the morning." Tatiana turned over. Dasha looked particularly striking this morning. She had unruly dark brown hair and an animated, round, dark-eyed face that had a reaction for everything. Right now that reaction was cheerful exasperation. Tatiana was exasperated herself -- less cheerfully. She wanted to continue sleeping.

She caught a glimpse of her mother's tense expression. "What announcement?"

Her mother was taking the bedclothes off the sofa.

"Mama! What announcement?" Tatiana. repeated.

"There is going to be a government announcement in a few minutes. That's all I know," Mama said doggedly, shaking her head, as if to say, what's not to understand?

Tatiana. was reluctantly awake. Announcement. It was a rare event when music would be interrupted for a word from the government. "Maybe we invaded Finland again." She rubbed her eyes.

"Quiet," Mama said.

"Or maybe they invaded us. They've been wanting their borders back ever since losing them last year."

"We didn't invade them," said Dasha. "Last year we went to get ourborders back. The ones we lost in the Great War. And you should stop listening to adult conversations."

"We didn't lose our borders," Tatiana said. "Comrade Lenin gave them away freely and willingly. That doesn't count."

"Tania, we are not at war with Finland. Get out of bed."

Tatiana did not get out of bed. "Latvia, then? Lithuania? Byelorussia? Didn't we just help ourselves to them, too, after the Hitler-Stalin pact?"

"Tatiana Georgievna! Stop it!" Her mother always called her by her first and patronymic names whenever she wanted to show Tatiana she was not in the mood to be fooled with.

Tatiana. pretended to be serious. "What else is left? We already have half of Poland."

"I said stop!" Mama exclaimed. "Enough of your games. Get out of bed. Daria Georgievna, get that sister of yours out of bed."

Dasha did not move.

Growling, Mama left the room.

Turning quickly to Tatiana, Dasha whispered conspiratorially, "I've got something to tell you!"

"Something good?" Tatiana was instantly curious. Dasha usually revealed little about her grown-up life. Tatiana sat up.

"Something great!" said Dasha. "I'm in love!"

Tatiana rolled her eyes and fell back on the bed.

"Stop it!" Dasha said, jumping on top of her. "This is serious, Tania."

"Yes, all right. Did you just meet him yesterday when the bridges were up?" She smiled.

"Yesterday was the third time."

Tatiana shook her head, gazing at Dasha, whose joy was infectious. "Can you get off me?"

"No, I can't get off you," Dasha said, tickling her. "Not until you say, 'I'm happy, Dasha.'"

"Why would I say that?" exclaimed Tatiana, laughing. "I'm not happy. Stop it! Why should I be happy? I'm not in love. Cut it out!"

Mama came back into the room, carrying six cups on a round tray and a silver samovar -- an urn with a spigot used for boiling water for tea. "You two will stop at once! Did you hear me?"

"Yes, Mama," said Dasha, giving Tatiana one last hard tickle.

"Ouch!" said Tatiana as loudly as possible... The Bronze Horseman. Copyright © by Paullina Simons. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Paullina Simons is an internationally bestselling author whose novels include Bellagrand and The Bronze Horseman was born in Leningrad in 1963. As a child she immigrated to Queens, New York, and attended colleges in Long Island. Then she moved to England and attended Essex University, before returning to America. She lives in New York with her husband and children.

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Bronze Horseman 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 307 reviews.
MISS_READ_IT More than 1 year ago
My God. This book completely ripped my heart out. This is a romance unlike any other, beautiful and raw and achingly tender. A story of war and life and brutal, relentless need. About family, and the unbreakable power of love. The writing took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. I want to curl up in a ball and sob until the hurt goes away. I want to hug this book to my chest and memorize the passages and the poetry and never, ever forget the way I felt when I turned the last page.  I LIVE for books like this. Books that NAIL what life is really about. Books that make you feel grateful for every single breath you take.  I'm not even playing, you guys. The character development in this book  is unreal - after one book, these characters feel like family to me. The love story will torment you and then make your heart soar; you will want to pull your hair out and then dance around in circles. This book is about life. I don't know if I'm even really expressing what is so wonderful about this book. The writing is just incredible - lyrical and honest. It is heartbreaking and bittersweet. It is a golden summer afternoon and a burning winter chill. War Romance at its absolute best.  If you can't tell, I highly recommend this book. Please go read it. You will not regret it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The e-book version is incomplete. It is missing about 100 pages of the story. After Alexander and Tatiana are in the tent in Lazarevo it skips to a new chapter where Tatiana is sad in bed because Alexander has left while the 4 old women are discussing it. It's missing crucial info to the story and their relationship. I have a Nook and had to buy the paperback. Do yourself a favor and don't bother with the e-book version.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just bought this eBook and read the reviews before purchasing it. Some reviews dating further back stated that the eBook was missing around 200 pages. With none of the recent reviews stating this, I was hoping this had been fixed. I just opened the eBook and was VERY disappointed to see that there are only 649 pages when the product details state there should be 832. I was SO excited to read this trilogy however now I don't know if I even want to start the book if I am going to miss that much! I just wanted to warn those who are thinking about buying the book that there ARE missing pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my top five favorites of all time. I am a lifelong voracious reader but "The Bronze Horseman" stopped me in my tracks and took my breath away. Having a particular fondness for historical fiction and WWII, I can't believe it took me so long to discover this incredibal author and this amazing book. There are really no words to describe this book. Just read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read. I could have gone with without the pretty explicit sexual parts though. But besides that, it was EXCELLENT. I LOVED the story and the characters.
Arali More than 1 year ago
Once in a while a book comes along that will capture you and doesn't let you go until it has shared its last word. This is such a book. The Bronze Horseman is the first book of three that deal with the lives of Tatiana and Alexander, a young couple who meet and fall in love amid the first waves of WWII. A nearly 17 year-old Tatiana Metanova wakes up one morning to a radio announcement that Hitler has just invaded the Soviet Union. The country is now at war and Tatiana is sent out in a rush to buy whatever she can get her hands on. Overwhelmed with the frenzy of her countrymen and having no luck securing provisions for her family, Tatiana takes an ice cream break on a street bench waiting for her bus. From across the street she notices a young Red Army officer watching her intently. He crosses the street towards her and from then on Tatiana's life begins a rollercoaster ride of passion, tragedy, betrayal, danger, and profound love. Alexander is a young man with a dangerous secret and a tragic past. He has one desire which he has been carefully planning for since he was a teenager--to escape from Soviet Russia. His plans are dangerously close to changing forever when he spies the beautiful young woman sitting on a bench from across the street. She is humming to herself, eating an ice cream cone; the red strappy-heeled shoes she borrowed from her big sister, Dasha, on her feet swinging to and fro. Alexander is lost at the vision of this young woman in her white dress with the roses. Her image is forever imprinted in his mind. Should he walk away? Stick to his plans with no complications? Or should he cross the street? He takes the step into her life and into her heart. But the horrors of war looms in the near distance. Will it tear them apart? Will they survive? Paullina Simons gives a harrowing account of the seige of Leningrad and pays homage to her beloved grandparents in this well crafted story of love and war. It kept me engaged from beginning to end never once letting me go to catch my breath. Every detail is lovingly embellished with beauftiful prose drawing you in to breathe, eat and drink their experiences as if they were your own. It is masterful storytelling, but a double-edged sword as some of her detail can become too much information, making me feel like a voyeur in their most intimate moments. Yet, it does not disappoint. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a feeling many of those are planted reviews or these people don't read much. The book is just too long and the story too stretched out. I would trust the words people say in the 3 star reviews the most.
AlisaLorrine More than 1 year ago
Reminded me of the first time I fell in love. 17.. a whirlwind of emotions, the uncontrollable emotional roller coaster, not being able to breathe in the presence of that person... Young romance done in an adult way. The story itself is rich, twisting and engaging. Couldn't put it down. Fabulous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is epic. No words to describe this book other than it is beautifully written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engaging and easy to follow great historical fiction with love
Burns49 More than 1 year ago
A very good read,however I think a lot of the book was missing from the ebook. I am going to the public library today and check it out. It seemed to change scenes changed to quickly from one place to another place and time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed sections of this book. Obviously the author has real knowledge of life in the USSR under Stalin and specifically of Leningrad's dark blockaded days of WW2. I did however tire through some portions.. 100 or so pages of their love making in the woods after marrying I skipped, not because it was graphic sex but because it was so entirely repetitive. It was also irritating to this reader that two lovers who were supposed to be soulmates continually misunderstood, mistrusted, lied to, and argued with each other. It may be 200 pages too long for so much of what I have described could have been edited out. I seem to be in the minority but I could not give this book 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so Angry right now...I am in the middle of reading this on my Nook and it is missing over 200 pages...I am calling tomorrow, I want a refund!  I will have to go the store and pick up a paperback.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good insight into russia during WW 1, sad, but also kinda sexy interesting but a little long, could easily have been 200 pages shorter, but a good read :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books! I didnt think i was gone get thrue the 810 pages but ,3 days later i started Tatiana & Alexander. I have to find out what happens !! Loved this story, its like youre there .
kirten More than 1 year ago
Basically its like pearl harbor only ten times more intense. i couldnt put the book down. My boyfriend even got mad at me for not talking to him. He tells me, "i hate that book." so it must be good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good story but I think there is too much wasted time. I think book 3 could have been completely eliminated and nothing would have been lost (Book 2 wasn't there and I didn't missi it either)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked the book up on a whim while at Barnes and Noble. I wasn't sure what I was in for but I loved the book enough that I finished it in 5 days. I didn't know squat about the Soviet Union being part of WWII and was completely intrigued, just couldn't put it down. The love makeing in the middle did get a bit annoying as it went on forever, but otherwise this is a great read!
luvlit More than 1 year ago
The Bronze Horseman is a complicated and beautiful love story set against the backdrop of WWII during the siege of Lenningrad. If you're going to read this one, I highly recommend reading the second in the series, "Tatiana and Alexander," which I liked even better. I'm waiting for the third installment, "The Summer Garden" to come in the mail. The author's writing style (and the oftentimes frustrating love triangle) may throw you off at first, but stick with it and you'll be greatly rewarded.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book about 4 years ago and till this day it is my go to book to reread . You will love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easily one of the most consuming stories I was fortunate enough to stumble upon. I highly reccommend this book to anyone who loves passionate romances and vivid historical details. I will treasure this story for many years to come!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This rating is a farce. Courtney has the wrong email address!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books! It's heartbreakingly beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVED all 600 pages and have moved on to the next in the series