A Novel of Harsh Winters and an Unforgiving War

Paige Moran 

Staff Writer

Every new book I read I say is my favorite, but if I had to order them, “The Bronze Horseman,” by Pullina Simons, would be a part of the top three.

The main character is Tatiana, a seventeen-year-old girl who lives with her parents, grandparents, twin brother, and older sister Dasha during World War II.   

The story starts by Tatiana’s father giving her 150 rubles to go out and buy food while he takes her twin brother Pahsa to camp. Her father says, “Don’t Dawdle like always. Go immediately.” He sensed something was going to be happening in their country.

Once her father left, instead of going to buy food, Tatiana read her favorite book not once, but twice! She finally put on her favorite – and only –  best dress.   

By the time she makes it to the first store, they have nothing – not even matches – for her to buy. After she looks through four stores, she finally finds one with a dozen people waiting to get inside the store.

Tatiana waits in line for what feels like forever. She even asks the older lady in front of her questions every ten minutes, which really aggravated the woman. Tatiana listened to the womens’ conversations and heard them say the savings banks have run out of money.

After another half hour Tatiana decides to get on the bus hoping to make it in time to one more store, and not wanting to disappoint her father.

Before Tatiana got on the bus that would take her to the store, she spotted an ice cream kiosk, and she couldn’t help herself. She then would catch the next bus that would be there soon.

As she eats her ice cream and waits for the bus, Tatiana spotted a handsome soldier looking at her from across the street. The bus finally comes and she gets on, and to her surprise the solider, Alexander, gets on too.

They talk the whole way, never getting off, just riding with one another. Tatiana tells Alexander she never got the food her father told her to by. The solider and Tatiana get off the bus together and he tells Tatiana he will take her to the barracks and she can buy the food for her family.

He walks her home and helps her inside. Once Dasha sees Alexander, she runs to hug him and this is when Tatiana finds out this is the guy Dasha was professing her love to earlier that day.

That however, doesn’t stop Tatiana and Alexander from meeting everyday to walk around the town together.

As winter comes full force, people freeze, food is scarce, blockades are placed, and people die. Tatiana must grow up fast and try to protect not only herself, but her family as the war wages around them.

She must learn how to live with her sister and her sister’s boyfriend, the boy Tatiana loves.

This book made me laugh, hurt, cry, and fall in love with the characters.

Simons wrote an amazing story with great characters. You can really see all the characters develop and grow throughout the entire story.

This is the first story in the trilogy, and each book is around 800 pages long, but this one is worth your time. I’m currently on the second book and am still completely in love with all the characters.

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