Today’s blog goes back a few months to when I finished The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paullina Simons. Fellow bibliophile friends of mine recommended it to me, and needless to say, it was not quite the reading adventure I originally expected. Here is my review for all installments of this epic trilogy.
Novel one, The Bronze Horseman, is the first of the three. It took me FOREVER to get immersed in, but I’m glad it finally snagged me.. Hook, link, and sinker. The story of Alexander and Tatiana is not just a story of love, but of tragedy, survival, strategy, and courage. Before their love can flourish, they have to overcome the struggles and fatalities of a second, major world war. All around them is death and destruction and it becomes a LOT for even the reader to tackle. Almost all 810 pages ripped my heart right out. I walked away from this one mentally drained from their journey.
Tatiana and Alexander comes next. This series might be one of the toughest I’ve ever had to get through, and the most realistic of any fiction I’ve read in quite awhile. The cover may say “a love story”, but don’t let that fool you if you’re looking for some fluffy pages filled with romance, wooing, and steamy intimacy. Don’t get me wrong, those things are all within the pages as well, but the tale incorporates a significant amount more than physical acts of love and a romantic relationship.
World War II, the history of the different territories, sickness, death, being on the run, and fighting for survival are all woven into this intricate story. I’ve read very few novels that have caused my heart to skip into my throat for a good chunk of the tale, but Tatiana and Alexander do just that for me. So many times, I’d try to put myself in either of their shoes, and I know I wouldn’t survive even a fraction of the obstacles they had to attempt to overcome.
Finally comes The Summer Garden. The last in the whole series. This was the longest I’ve ever spent on a trilogy, and with a fictional couple. It took me a month to trudge through the story of Tatiana Metanova and Alexander Belov/Barrington. To me, this was more than a love story, more than a romance with just a hint of erotica. It was a life-long journey and true roller coaster revolving around these two. Nothing about book three or this entire series seemed fake or fluffy. It’s not “hearts and flowers”, but very, very, sometimes TOO much….. real. I’ve reiterated that fact since the first part of their story. The couple’s triumphs and joys were mine as was their heartaches. I felt depressed on all levels having finally closed the final book and my decades of adventures with this extraordinary couple and their remarkable extended family. While it didn’t happen right away, they have now acquired one of the top spots in my literary loves list. If you’re willing to put in the effort, do yourselves a favor and pick up these books. You won’t be disappointed!