Series: The Bronze Horseman #1
Publication Date: May 22, 2001
Date Read: November 12, 2016
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.
I have had a really hard time deciding how to rate this book. I went into the book with incredibly high expectations. I just knew that I would fall in love with this book largely because I had been told that I would love it. I didn't love it. I liked it though and there were parts of it that I liked a whole lot. There were some sections of the book that didn't work for me nearly as well. I did enjoy reading this book overall despite my issues.
This book is set in Russia during World War II which is a really interesting period of time to read about. I did really enjoy the setting and the descriptions relating to the war. That was really the best parts of the book for me. The parts of the book set in Leningrad that deal with the hunger and desperation of the characters was incredibly done. This book would have easily been a 5 star read for me if the whole book had that same level of impact. I also really liked the last section of the book that was more war focused.
There were other sections of the book that didn't work for me nearly as well. Tatiana seems really immature during the first section of the book and kind of drove me nuts. She is young at the start of the story and it really showed. I also had some issues concerning Alexander's relationship with Tatiana's sister, Dasha. Alexander is actually Dasha's boyfriend during much of the book so Alexander and Tatiana keep their feelings for each other a secret. I didn't care for this aspect of the story at all.
This was a book that I think may have been a bit too long. I found myself growing tired of some parts of the book. The third section of the book that really focuses on the romance between Alexander and Tatiana was nice but it went on for too long in my opinion. During that part of the book, they were so removed from the war that it really changed the impact of the story. I think that the first section of the book could have been cut back as well.
I would recommend this book to fans of historical romance. There were parts of this book that were really strong and I did enjoy it. I do plan to continue with the trilogy soon to see what else happens.
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