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Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

The Bronze HorsemanI am now forever indebted to my friend Belinda who begged me to read this book (I believe I am now one in a long list of Paullina Simons converts for Bel). I had previously read 100 pages of Tully and wasn't too impressed but I thought I'd give it a go anyway.

I am so glad I did!

What a beautiful book!!!! Alexander is absolutely amazing and the love story weaved between him and Tatiana is heart-wrenching. This love story is easily as emotionally involving as Jamie and Claire (Outlander) or Henry and Claire (Time Traveller's Wife). The romance component of this novel allowed the characters to grow and the author to show them at both their best and worst. Passionate and gutsy, the characters in this novel do not disappoint.

I haven't read a book set in the Soviet Union in WWII before so that was a large draw card for me. The war and historical elements were a massive part of the book without being overbearing or losing their human feel. I found myself with damp eyes more than once during the starvation of Leningrad and came away from the book with a greater understanding of a time and place that previously held no interest to me.

I don't know why but I always thought of WWI & WWII as boy's history and Medieval England as girl's history. Silly I know. Maybe it's because my Dad loves to tell me stories about the warfare of WWII and Mum has regaled me with individual survivor tales of that period. Paullina Simons however has changed all this for me. I am proud to announce that I will no longer automatically turn up my nose at WWII novels and exclaim "That's too modern," like it's a dirty word.

The only criticism I could possibly offer The Bronze Horseman is that at times it does tend to go on too much and you may find yourself skimming. I did just feel like that was purely a by-product of the author being so completely engrossed in her characters though. It's a fair trade-off.

Royal Rating:

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