For me it's not really 'old' (even though it's from the realy nineties) because I stumbled over the books in 2002. *nods*
The first & second book are called Dark Horse and Lightning’s Daughter.
(German - these two books in one: Die Letzte Zauberin)
After her entire clan is massacred, a young woman assumes her brother’s identity and becomes a warrior - all to exact revenge upon the chieftain who ordered her family slain. But the chieftain, Lord Medb, has resurrected the forbidden art of sorcery and plans to destroy all who oppose him in this dark ages fantasy world. With the help of an intelligent, magical horse, the young warrior-woman goes against tradition and law to learn sorcery, all in the hope of thwarting Medb’s evil plans of conquest.
The third & last book are called City of the Sorcerers and Winged Magic.
(German - these two books in one: Die Tochter der Zauberin)
Peace has flourished for over twenty years on the Dark Horse Plains. Under the leadership of Lady Gabria and Lord Athlone, the outcast magic-wielders have gained a tenuous acceptance among their people. But when a devastating plague sweeps over the eleven Clans of Valorian, old suspicians of sorcery flare. The clans’ only hope for survival rests with a handful of young magic-wielders and their quest to the ruins of Moy Tura, ancient and feared city of the sorcerers.
The German titles fit the series a little better, especially the one of the second (The Daughter of the Sorceress). Between the first two and the last two books are roughly 20 years. The four books span two generations - Gabria and Athlone in the begining and then later their daughter Kelene.
I love, love the first two books the most. Herbert's style is fantastic - she's literally painting the scenes with her words and is letting you feel the emotions of her characters.
The most wonderful characters are the Hunnuli themselves. These magically bred horses choose and protect "good" sorcerers. They are large, black and elegant with a white lightning-bolt marking on their shoulder. Hunnuli are immune to magic and are fully sentient and can communicate telepathically with their sorcerer or sorceress. (Wiki)
Nara and Boreas made me fell in love with horses and are one of the reasons why we visit the horse ranch every year. *grins*
If you decide to give the series a chance, enjoy the journey. :) I know, I did! ♥
LJ ain't letting me do teh cut. *headdesk*