During the summer of 1941 the Metanov family are living a hard life in Leningrad. As the German armies advance their future looks bleak. For Tatiana, love arrives in the guise of Alexander, who harbours a deadly and extraordinary secret.
I think that maybe reading a book about the Soviet Union in WWII was maybe not the best idea for election week. This 650 page monster took an entire week to read–I couldn’t stay focused on it, and it was so hard to stay emotionally involved when we were having our own…domestic issues.
Long though it is, for the most part, I did enjoy the book. It sort of reminded me of The Thorn Birds or Outlander–not really the subject matter, but just the style of romance. There are so many conflicts going on, nothing is exactly ethical, but you root for the main characters anyway.
I’ve read a ton of books about the British side of the war, the American side, some from the Japanese and German sides. But I’ve read nothing from the Russian front. So this was an interesting perspective, and I really like how Simons used Alexander and Tatiana to frame their lives behind the Leningrad blockade. I will say that sometimes their relationship infuriated me–the dynamic was very toxic in modern day relationship standards, and so it’s very VERY cringey. The sex scenes are hot, albeit sometimes cheesy. It’s just an interesting mix.
It’s a solid 3. There are two more in the series, and I haven’t decided whether to continue on. I liked The Bronze Horseman, I didn’t love it. I’m definitely impatient to move on to something else. But I could see Shura and Tania be a love story that I crave the rest of later on. We’ll see.