“Oh, Alexander,” she said, “what do you want from me….”
“Everything!” he whispered fiercely.
Ever since I met Kate online, I knew The Bronze Horseman was her absolute favorite book so it has been on my radar for sometime. But I also knew it was 900 pages and set in WWII Russia, a time setting that I didn’t think would interest a me. However a few days ago, Jane tweeted that the book was on sale for $1.99 and she also expressed how much she enjoyed this epic love story. And all of a sudden my tweet stream starting filling up with “OMG the best book you will ever read” and “You will cry like you have never cried before.” When my good reading friends Amy and Claudia (and many others) exclaimed their absolute love for this book, I decided to try it. So thank you to everyone who tweeted me because I completely fell in love.
This book starts the amazing love story of Tatiana and Alexander.
“I can’t believe how not meant to be we are”
They both live in Leningrad, Russia. Tatiana is a seventeen year old, care-free girl who lives in a two room apartment with her parents, her grandparents, her twin brother and her older sister. One day she is sitting on a bench eating ice cream when she sees a young officer in the Red Army across the street. Their eyes meet and he crosses the street. They get on a bus together and their fate is set. It truly is love at first sight. But these two have no idea what lies in store for them. The day they meet is the day it is announced Hitler is invading Russia. Tatiana and her family, along with most of the three million people in Leningrad are naïve to what the Germans will actually do to their city. They have faith in the Red Army. They have no idea that in the coming months, the entire city will literally be starving.
Tatiana and Alexander face many challenges in this book (and that is putting it lightly!) Not only does the war invade their lives and pull them apart, but prior to the two of the meeting, Alexander had been dating Dasha, Tatiana’s sister. Tatiana is loyal to her family, and puts her sister first. Tatiana and Alexander’s unstoppable love becomes hidden and secretive. An even greater threat is that Alexander has a secret, and his army friend Dimitri knows of this secret. Dimitri’s only goal is to one day escape the war and sneak to America. He thinks Alexander is the key to his plan, and will do anything, including blackmail to make this happen. In order to keep Tatiana out of his evil clutches, Alexander must have complete indifference to Tatiana so Dimitri gets no hint of their love.
This book is 900 pages long and I could keep going and going but let me make this point before I end this post. This is the most romantic book I have ever read.
He paused. “What? What are you looking at me like that for?” He smiled faintly. “Keep looking,” he whispered.
The first half of the book will torture you because of their forbidden love and the fact that horrible, horrible things happen to Tatiana and her family due to the war. You will be completely emotionally exhausted but also proud of Tatiana as she goes from a naive girl to literally the rock her family leans on during an extreme crisis.
Then you go into the second half of the book thinking, things have to get better for these two, right? And they do for a bit.
He wanted to smile, but he thought any second he was going to fall to his knees and cry. He dropped all his gear, including his rifle. God, he thought, in a second I’m going to feel her. And that’s when he smiled.
There are pages and pages of sensual love scenes and you come to know Alexander for his pure and complete alpha devotion to Tatiana. Hot damn Alexander – hot damn.
“I love you breathlessly, my amazing man.”
And just when you think your heart is safe and these two are going to make it – the last 25% of this book will rip out your heart. Completely. It’s pure torture.
Here it is, Tatiana. Here is my brave and indifferent face.
(I completely sobbed at this point)
I say this is the most romantic book I have ever read not for the very hot physical romance scenes we get in this book, but because Alexander and Tatiana are two of the most selfless characters I have ever read. The sacrifices they make for one another are unparalleled. I really think Tatiana is my most favorite heroine. Her strength and determination and stubbornness to live is so fascinating throughout this entire book.
This book also ends on a pretty big cliffhanger. I hear these two do get a solid HEA, but I also hear the author continues to torture us through books two and three. I’m 20% through book two right now, and yes I’m still tortured.
This is easily my favorite romance book. For a truly epic love story filled with angst and the most romantic scenes your heart can endure, give this one a try. Just make sure you have a tissue.