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4.7 out of 5 stars245
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 11 November 2007
Having just read The Bronze Horseman and the following sequels I am completely emotionally exhausted! Anyone who loves a hero and a heroine will adore this story.
Forget all the cynical reviews re: historical facts! Who cares what year the Germans started using Tiger tanks! The only important facts in this book are the love between Tatiana and Alexander which could be felt through every single page from the moment they met. I have cried endless tears through it all and it became so much a part of my life that my "Alexander" and I will be going to St Petersburg to experience the White Nights of the city and to gaze upon the statue of THE BRONZE HORSEMAN.
Paulina Simons is the most gifted writer I have come across in a while. Having read "Girl in Times Square" three times I decided to buy all of her books that she has written.
Her characters come so vividly to life in every book.

This is certainly NOT the best book ever written, ALL of them are !!!!

But be aware that your life will come to a standstill until you have finished reding them all !!!
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on 10 April 2006
I picked this book up from my local library expecting another run-of-the-mill romance novel- lots of posturing, fainting and possibly some orphans thrown in somewhere. What I got was completely different. The beauty of the novel lies in Simons' gorgeous and heavily layered prose- the city of Leningrad is described in such detail that by the end of the novel I was left longing to visit this historical city. The book touches on some impressively heavy issues- dialogues between Alexander and Tatiana on the meaning of religion, personal identity and communism- particularly touching is his attempt to explain the concept of 'privacy' to his lover when no such word exists in the Russian language.
Simons' manages to insert some history in the novel also; although it never reaches the depths of the dreaded 'historical novel'.
What sets this novel apart from other romances is the strength of the relationship between Alexander and Tatiana- unlike most romance novels they don't spend the entire time double-guessing and testing the other's affection for them. The author does a good job in creating sympathy for all the characters, not just the protagonists but also those that surround them and Tatiana's emotionally damaged family. This is possibly the only romance I have ever read which allowed the reader to empathise with the third member of the love triangle (Tatiana's sister, Dasha)and the 'villains' may not be likeable but they are understandable.
I have heard other readers complaining that the couple are typical 'Mary-Sues' but despite their overwhelmingly good natures they are significantly flawed enough to make for interesting reading. Much of the second half of the novel deals with the undercurrents of violence in their all-consuming relationship, contrasted poignantly with their attempts to build a lasting home for themselves in Lazerevo.
One warning though- the ending of the novel is heart-wrenching, to say the least, and although a sequel has now been released when I first finished this novel I had to hide it, simply to stop myself crying!
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on 30 September 2001
This is quite possibly the best book I've ever read. Tatiana and Alexander's names belong right up alongside Rhett and Scarlett, Heathcliff and Cathy, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy! I am still in total agony after having literally lived for this book for the last few days. I've never read any of Paullina Simons' novels before and I'm not sure if I want to, for nothing can be as good as this. The leading characters are depicted so strongly that you can physically feel their pain and their love deep within your own heart. There should be a health warning on this masterpiece. Like many others I desperately need a sequel and don't think I can eat or sleep again until its published!
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on 10 November 2000
I cannot praise this book highly enough.I have never read anything which has effected me so deeply and for so long.I found myself in tears for days afterwards.Tatiana and Alexander are like dear friends by the time you reach the end of this epic journey.I have been trying to console myself by making up a sequel in my head, anyone else who has read the book will understand why!It's captivating, heart breaking, breathtaking, deeply moving, soul warming and epic.It will fling you into the pits of despair and help you discover romantic bones you never knew existed, but be warned - you will NOT be able to put it down once you have picked it up.The history surrounding the seige of Leningrad and the rest of the war in the Soviet Union is amazingly detailed - my knowledge of the geography of Russia is much improved for reading this absoutely incredible book.Buy it now !
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on 12 August 2000
The Bronze Horseman was fantastic.Having read all of Ms Simons previous novels and loving each one of them,"The Bronze Horseman" just showed her real talent, her books have just got better and better! This book not only made me weep but also made me smile and laugh.Paullina Simons is a writer who creates characters you end up loving and want to protect. I felt all the emotions and fears that Alexander and Tatiana felt.I experienced through this book, the effects of the war, the fammine, the relentless noise of the shelling and bombs and the undying love and fear between Alexander and Tatiana, it is a truly gut- wrenching book. It left me wanting more.This book shows Ms Simons true talent and this is a fantastic product of it.
The characters are immensly powerful and I felt the love that is between Alexander and Tatiana but I also felt the sorrow and pain that they both endured.
In the action parts the plot is fast moving but there are also scenes in the book when time seems to stand still. Ms Simons is an amazing writer and somehow manages to make you believe that you actually know Tatiana and Alexander and are with them in Leningrad with the conflict of war surounding their love.I can't wait for her next book, I'm sure it will be as superb and powerful as this one was!
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on 5 February 2002
I bought this book with some hesitation at first, thinking it would be quite heavy to read and something on the lines of War and Peace. My hesitations were unfounded as it turned out to be one of the best books I have ever read. The description of the characters is fantastic, you feel for them and you really feel as if you are standing next to them, witnessing the action for yourself. The book also makes you learn something about what it was like in the former Soviet Union during World War II and from reading this book you realise just exactly what the Russians must have gone through. After reading this book, I ended up reading all of Ms Simons' books in a month and each and everyone of them are just as good as each other. ...
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on 14 September 2003
This is a real page-turner of a book and it has everything - real life drama, a love triangle, life, death, love and courage. I couldn't put it down, and was gutted to finish the book. It is beautifully written, and set against an extremely fraught period in history which only adds to the drama. The characters are extremely well rounded and true to life and the shocking truth of the Soviet state is clearly defined but doesn't overpower the book as a whole. This book is the perfect commuter book, holiday book or read-before-you-go-to-sleep book (though its highly likely that you will either be in bed extremely early, or going to sleep extremely late!)
Read it, it's fantastic!
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on 6 November 2003
The Bronze Horesman and its sequel Alexanda and Tatiana are the best books that I have read in years. If you like to read about World WarII you are sure to enjoy the life stories of two of its young people interpursed with their family life and suffering.
It is the most heart rendering love story in such terrible war torn circumstances, most war liturature focus' on England or Germany, to read what actually happened in Russia was a real eye opener, certainly both books are worth missing at least a weeks dinners.
Happy Reading.
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on 6 November 2000
A couple of years ago I happened upon Red Leaves. It was the first book I had read in years and I caught the fever!
Since then, I have read all of Paullinna Simons' books and every one has given me joy. I couldn't believe that this latest novel could live up to the previous ones.
Oh, how wrong I was. The Bronze Horseman is trully a masterpiece. I pity anyone who has not had the good fortune to discover Paullina's work.
I have read the other reviews, you must believe them. Never in my life have I become so involved in a novel. My fiancé said I was hell to live with. Dinner was always late (normally cooked by him as he gave up waiting for me to put my book down.) And I was on an emotional rollercoaster that left me reeling for days afterwards.
You must not hesitate, order this book now! I promise you will not be disappointed.
Paullina Simons is a genius.
Please Paullina, write us another book soon!
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on 14 September 2006
I picked this book up at a sunday market for a couple of pounds and it turned out to be the best buy ever!! Brilliant story, Paullina really is an incredible writer, and thanks to amazon i have learnt that this is the first of the TRILOGY!! Wow my day just got a whole lot better as i am re-reading this book currently... Buy it, read it, love it.
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