Fangs of K'aath is another fine work by Paul Kidd. (The last one I reviewed was the highly-recommended "A Whisper of Wings".) While this story is much simpler than that of Whisper, it is nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable read; once again, I found myself devouring nearly the entire book in one sitting, only taking a break when my neck began to get sore!
Above all else, this book is a romance, about the love between Sandhri, a storytelling beggar, and Raschid, scholar and heir to the Shah. Their love is, of course, unheard of; how could a noble possibly be seen with a filthy street beggar, let alone profess his love as loudly and thoroughly as Raschid?
Sandhri is more than a match for the young prince, though. Her fast tongue and quick mind weave stories for all who will listen, perhaps allowing her to say more than is proper. Her days in the street have given her talents that prove surprisingly effective when dealing with the haughty nobility and corrupt merchants that Raschid must face. She's not "merely" a love interest; she's a lead, and a strong one at that.
Through this central theme weave other stories; Sandhri's childhood, and why she lives on the streets. An expidition to create peace between the kingdom of Osra and the nomadic desert folk, who have been raiding the city's caravans. And a mysterious rival, who apparently wants either Raschid, or Sandhri, or possibly both of them, dead. These and many other threads run through the story, changing it from a simple fairy tale to a richly-detailed tapestry.
Paul is an excellent writer; I've heard some poor reviews of the material he's written for companies such as TSR, but I, personally, have never had a single complaint about any of his original material. The hardest part of reading this book, initially, is puzzling through Raschid's cultured "thees" and "thous", and Sandhri's thick accent. Once you get into the book, though, they simply make this a richer read, adding to the setting and flavor, and making the characters come alive. Once more, Paul has managed to avoid writing a book. Rather, it's an experience.
It takes a spectacular book, these days, for me to read nonstop without simply tiring of reading. This definitely did it. I gladly put this book high on my list of recommendations, along with Whisper. My only regret is that it weren't longer; I could have gone on reading about these colorful, lively, and utterly REAL characters for quite some time!