Book Cover
Title Dark Horse
Author Mary H. Herbert
Cover Art Marc Fishman
Publisher Science Fiction Book Club - 2000
First Printing TSR, Inc - 1990
Printing Status Available
Book Cover
Title Lightning's Daughter
Author Mary H. Herbert
Cover Art Marc Fishman
Publisher Science Fiction Book Club - 2000
First Printing TSR, Inc - 1991
Printing Status Available
Book Cover
Title Valorian
Author Mary H. Herbert
Cover Art Marc Fishman
Publisher Science Fiction Book Club - 2001
First Printing TSR, Inc - 1993
Printing Status Available
Book Cover
Title City of Sorcerers
Author Mary H. Herbert
Cover Art Marc Fishman
Publisher Science Fiction Book Club - 2003
First Printing TSR, Inc - 1994
Printing Status Available
Book Cover
Title Winged Magic
Author Mary H. Herbert
Cover Art Valerie A. Valusek
Publisher TSR, Inc - 1996
First Printing TSR, Inc - 1996
Printing Status Available
Category Young Adult
Warnings None
Main Characters Valorian, Hunnul, Gabria, Nara, Athalone, Eurus, Sayyed, Afer, Kelene, Demira, Rafnir, Tibor, Helmar, Marron, Piers
Main Elements Telepathic/winged horses, gryphon
Website None




Click to read the summaryDark Horse

Click to read the summaryLightning's Daugther

Click to read the summaryValorian

Click to read the summaryCity of Sorcerers

Click to read the summaryWinged Magic




I bought these books because they were supposed to have magical horses in them, but then I put them aside for nearly a decade. I don't know why I waited so long, because they surprised me in how good they were. They had a classic fantasy novel feel about them, fun to read and interesting characters and magic. To me, it is important to not only develop the characters in a story, but to also position them in an interesting culture with a rich history. Throw in big black horses that can telepathically communicate with their riders and the setting is very promising.

The first two books are really two parts of one story. Magic has reappeared within the Clans of the Ramtharian plains and the nomadic people are frightened and suspicious. This fear is reinforced when Lord Medb attempts to take control of all the clans through sorcery. But magic is a two-edged sword and can be used for both evil, and good. And this the black Hunnuli know. Lord Branth then attempts to continue where Lord Medb left off but is ensnared by his own magic.

The third book takes us both forward and backward in time, as Gabria tells the story of the clan's ancestor, Valorian to her children. Valorian led the clans from the Chadarian plains mountains to the Ramtharian plains where centuries later his people flourish. The gods gave him the gift of magic, he gave Hunnul the gift of speech.

The fourth and fifth book focus more on Gabria's children as they must battle an evil wraith that spread the plague amongst the clans, and when Gabria and Kelene were kidnapped by the Turic tribesmen of the south. I particularly enjoyed this last book because the character of Sayyed, whom we grow to love in this series, is half Turic himself. The tribes and the clans are very similar and yet different.

Of course the magic is important, and the story of the clans, but it wouldn't be the same without the intelligent Hunnuli. I have not read the Valdemar series, so I can't compare, but black horse or white, to be bonded to the beautiful lightning marked horses would be wonderful.

Do I have some complaints? Well occassionally timelines seem a bit inconsistent. Gabria appeared to ride Nara across the entire plains in one night, while Tibor, Afer and Demira struggled to bring their riders that far in three. But every book has its inconsistencies so I forgive that. And the Roman-like names of the Tarnish empire...with their leader being Tyrannis...the tyrant? Yeah. But that was just in the one book, most other names I kind of liked, particularly Valorian's and Hunnul's. Don't read these books if you don't want to see your favorite characters die off, whether it is in battle or simply through time, I found myself really attached to many of the characters that didn't make it to the end. And be careful which edition you get, some of the SFBC ones were riddled with typos which were kind of distracting!!!

So I encourage you to read this series. I think you'll like it.




Posted: June 2010

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