10++ big beautiful stars and then some
This second installment of The Bronze Horseman trilogy was BEYOND BEAUTIFUL!!!!! This is truly the most EPIC LOVE story EVER told bar none. I am writing this review through the tears left over from reading this book.
This book was the PERFECT sequel to The Bronze Horseman. In many ways, it not so much followed it as it did complete it. While things are still very open for book 3, I felt like this book was the second half of TBH. It was utterly BREATHTAKING!!!!!!
*** If you want to go in completely blind, it might be best not to read this review ***
When we left Tatiana and Alexander in TBH, Alexander had arranged for a pregnant Tatiana to get passage to America by having her think he was dead (he was sure they were going to execute him) but as fate would have it, he wasn’t and was made to serve in the penal battalions at the front of the war. Tatiana meanwhile in America is forced to try and live on with their infant son believing that he is dead.
I don’t have words to describe and BEAUTIFULLY and SEAMLESSLY the author wove together Alexander’s story with Tatiana’s as well as flashbacks and memories. We learn a lot about Alexander in this book. While the books are not written in first person, a lot of what we saw in The Bronze Horseman was through Tatiana’s eyes and in this book, we are taken back to events seen in TBH and also some events that we didn’t see (that happened in between) and are shown them through Alexander’s eyes. It explains so much leaving no question unanswered…. We also see Alexander’s childhood through intermingled flashbacks that help the reader understand how he became the man he is.
The HEARTACHE and LONGING in this book almost killed me. I was openly crying or sobbing every 10 pages or so. You’ll just be reading normally and your emotional state will be relatively stable (well, still full of aching for them missing each other but bearably so) in a ‘current’ scene but then a memory will be inserted and just throw you right over the emotional edge.
The happy memories of each other are inserted throughout the entire book at times when Tatiana and Alexander are despairing beyond all hope, and the memories of each other serve as a means to get them through. To get up one more time. To put one foot in front of the other. Not to give up…. In this same way, they help the reader get through their separation by constantly giving hope.
And their reunion!!!!! Wow. Wow. Wow.
Alexander and Tatiana are both SUCH strong characters – some of the strongest I’ve ever read about.
I don’t think I have ever sobbed through a book so much – but in a completely good way. This is such a story of survival and love. The author’s ability to make you FEEL every single thing that Tatiana and Alexander are going through is just incredible.
No piece of music, book, story, movie, show, anything has EVER made meFEEL as strongly as this book did.
If I were going to be stuck on a desert island for the rest of my life and could only bring one series of books, it would be these.
The LOVE that Tatiana and Alexander share is beyond words. You just have to experience it for yourself. I don’t think anyone but the author can do it justice.
Again, this book is long, not as long as the first one though but my print copy is 559 pages. But it did not drag even once. I read every. single. word. every syllable even as slowly as I could. I didn’t want it to end…. And there is absolutely zero fluff. Absolutely everything mentioned is a vital part of the story.
And as with the first one, the writing is also broken up really interestingly. It is in chapters, but within those chapters are little sections, each one is a writing work of art. I really don’t know how to explain it, but each one is not just telling you what is happening, but it has a greater point … Its achingly beautifully poetic… This writing style becomes more and more poignant as the series goes on because as you know more and more about the characters, the author is able to make the sections more and more emotional until every single one of your heart strings is raw.
The ending is perfect and this being the romance love story that it is, everything does work out in the end, which believe me is what will keep you going throughout it.
I’m starting book 3 right away which follows Alexander and Tatiana in their new life in America with their son as they face life after the war together.
These are by FAR my FAVORITE books ever. There is nothing else in their league.. This story is one that i will reread over and over again and will stay with me forever.
And tell me that’s not the most beautiful book cover ????
“We walk alone through this world, but if we’re lucky, we have a moment of belonging to something, to someone, that sustains us through a lifetime of loneliness.”
“Will you remember that? Anywhere you are, if you can look up and find Perseus in the sky, find that smile, and hear the galactic wind whisper your name, you’ll know that it’s me, calling for you… calling you back to Lazarevo. ” ~Alexander
“There is one moment, a moment in eternity. Before we find out the truth about one another. That simple moment is the one that propels us through life – what we felt at the very edge of our future, standing over the abyss, before we knew for sure we loved. Before we knew for sure we loved forever. … Before all that, you and I walked through The Summer Garden, and once in a while my bare arm touched your arm, and once in a while you spoke and that gave me an excuse to look up into your face, into your laughing eyes, to catch a glimpse of your mouth and I, who had never been touched, tried to imagine what it might be like to have your mouth touch me. Falling in love with you in The Summer Garden in the white nights of Leningrad is the moment that propels me though life.”
“If I can live through this, he thought, I can live through anything. If I can live through this, I WILL live through anything.”
“In Alexander’s life there was one thread that could not be broken by death, by distance, by time, by war. Could not be broken. As long as I am in the world, she said with her breath and her body, as long as I am, you are permanent, soldier.”
“I love you as much as it is possible for a man to love a woman.”
**SERIES READING ORDER **
Book #1: THE BRONZE HORSEMAN
Book #2: TATIANA & ALEXANDER
BOOK #3: THE SUMMER GARDEN
These are, without a doubt, exactly the way I see Alexander and Tatiana:
Happy reading everyone ♥