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Literature / The Fangs of K'aath

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Yes, she's a Bat and why she doesn't have wings is one of her stories.
The Fangs of K'aath is a furry novel series written by Paul Kidd and is one of the most hailed books of its specific genre.
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The series takes place in the metropolitan Islamic kingdom of Osra where a young bat named Sandhri lives a marginal living as a street storyteller after her homelands and family were destroyed by the Shah's forces.

She meets and falls in love with the bookish scholar Raschid and has several adventures with him in the capital city of Sath. Later to her outrage, he turns out to be Prince Raschid Al Dinaq, second son to the Shah himself, and she rejects him. Despite secret forces determined to keep them apart, Sandhri later forgives the heartbroken Prince and, with a little help of Itbit the clever mouse harem servant girl, finagles her way into the royal court to become his concubine although the Shah refuses to allow them to marry. Meanwhile, a mouse slave dancer named Yarïm struggles to keep her virtue in the royal harem even as the Prince and storyteller hope to help her.

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However, the Prince is assigned to deal with nomadic raiders in the desert and Sandhri insists on accompanying him, expertly helping him organize the expedition to that end. On that excursion is danger and betrayal as the heroes find enemies and friends they never expected and return in well earned triumph. However, Sandhri, Raschid and Yarïm unlocked the final puzzle for a far more diabolical scheme that holds the world the balance.

The second book is Guardians of Light with the heroes now undisputed rulers of the reformed Osra, as a softspoken buddist Panda scholar, Tsau-yi Meng, comes to find himself joining the court. Together, Raschid's court is put to the ultimate test as a sinister warlord named Tsu-Khan threatens the land and Osra must rise to meet this challenge.

The books are now primarily available as Kindle books at Amazon (Original, and ''Guardians of Light''). There is also a shortlived comics adaptation and with an erotic one-shot adaptation of one of Sandhri's racier stories, called Princess Karanam and the Djinn of the Green Jug, both published by MU Press.

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Tropes:

  • Adipose Rex: Shah Marwan of Osra is morbidly obese due to eating immense feats three times a day.
  • Anti-Antichrist: Raschid, who was raised by his mother to be the consort of the demon goddess K'aath. However, his whole nature grew up to become utterly determined to defy this fate.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: This series is written with a more knowledgeable feel of the Islamic lands with it pointed out that Osra has a very liberal attitude to the religion's strictures and the nomads largely take a harder line.
  • Artistic License – Economics: In the end of the first book, Raschid simultaneously bans slavery nationwide, decides to nationalize the army, frees all slaves, intimidates a neighboring state and gears up for war with a rival state not for any economic reasons but simply moral indignation. All while the country is just recovering from a devastating putsch/civil war. In reality, this would almost certainly have caused the economy to collapse like a house of cards, especially in a state as large as this one.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Emir Caïd became one when he was killed by a shifter while trying to flee the consequences of his failed assassination attempt.
    • Shah Marwan's death, while bad for the heroes, was almost certainly unmourned by readers given that he ordered the destruction of the bat tribes and knowingly risked Raschid's life to flush out Caïd and Amedh.
    • After everything he did, nobody mourned Abbas's death.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: What Abbas learns about his good hearted brother, Raschid, when they finally come to blows, only for that evil bully to learn the hard way that he never had a chance to begin with.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Two in the first book:
    • The first one comes when Sandhri and Raschid come to save Yarïm from being tortured by Abbas and easily take him down.
    • The second is at the climax when Raschid and Yarïm show up just in time to save Sandhri from getting killed by K'aath's followers.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Abduhl greatly enjoys fighting off an attack by assassins, laughing all the while as he kills them.
    • Amedh ibn Ïkr, who takes a perverse joy in ransacking an enemy city to the point of murdering a messenger from Raschid just so he can carry on the slaughter for as long as possible.
  • Cain and Abel: Abbas and Raschid, respectively. In this case, the Abel in this relationship turns out to able to kick the Cain's ass with ease whenever he felt it worth the bother.
  • Covers Always Lie: In the recent reprint cover there is a bird anthro in the background. There are no mention of anthropomorphic avians ever in the book and Sandhri looks more like a bat/dog hybrid.
  • Creation Myth: Most believe in the story presented in Genesis, though in the first book Sandhri reveals a different story passed down orally by storytellers. After Adam and Eve were banished and made lords of the world the bats who remained in Eden thought they should eat the Fruit as well and convinced many other beasts to do the same. God banished the beasts who ate the Fruit to an Alternate Universe formerly populated by demons (which he destroyed, except for K'aath) and took the bats' wings.
  • Dance of Despair: The protagonists are so touched by the sadness of Yarïm's dance that they rescue her from its perverted audience, although doing so is politically unwise.
  • Decadent Court: Accommodation and genocide are equally valid tactics for its policies. The twist is that even the good guys of the story, Raschid and Sandhri, even while repelled by its brutalities, will readily admit that the court is a fun place be in when it is in a peaceful mood.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Abbas, who brutalizes harem girls and sleeps with the captain of the guard. And Fatima and a few of the other girls in the upper ranks of the harem. On the other hand, most of the harem girls and Sandhri and Yarïm are bisexual but not depraved.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Sandhri dies in Raschid and Yarim's arms after being mauled by Shifter-Abbas. Fortunately she's resurrected after a few minutes.
  • Do with Him as You Will: During the Slave Liberation in Hamman, Raschid leaves the overseers of the slave camps at the mercy of the slaves.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: An Ambiguous Situation for K'aath in the climax. She's dragged off somewhere, and implied not to be killed, but it's unclear if it's Hell, or possibly Heaven (presumably to be punished).
  • Eye Scream: Abbas gets killed by a knife through the eye.
  • Fat Bastard:
    • Emir Caid is noted to be overweight and is also a traitor, a slave-trader and probably an embezzler.
    • Shah Marwan ordered the massacre of the hill tribes in order to seize their land and give it to his nobles. He is also morbidly obese, a lifetime of immense feasts and little exercise having taken its toll.
  • Forgot I Could Change the Rules: Justified early in the story with Raschid pondering all the reforms he could do by arbitrary fiat if he were Shah and then ruefully reminding himself that he would be assassinated by the nobility and/or the bureaucracy within a day if he tried. Conveniently, they all get killed off in the succession crisis so nobody stops him when he does become Shah. The fact that this would bankrupt the country if done overnight as he does is casually brushed aside.
  • Forced to Watch: Abbas attempts to force Sarwah to watch him rape Yarim just to torture him. Fortunately he doesn't get that far.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: When Raschid tries to teach Sandhri how to write it's shown that their numerical system uses base eight.
  • Full-Frontal Assault:
    • Justified when Raschid and Sandhri fight off a group of assassins while completely naked, since they were attacked while in bed just after an abortive attempt at lovemaking.
    • During the same attack, Abduhl is butt-naked for... some reason while he's killing three assassins.
    • The Darb Haasi tribe fight their battles in the nude.
  • Gambit Pileup: The climax of the first book comes about when the K'aath cult assassinate the Shah, abduct Sandhri so she can be possessed by K'aath and turn Abbas into a Shifter so everything will be blamed on him. The Grand Mullah then takes the opportunity to accuse Sandhri and Yarïm of the Shah's murder and stage a Putsch. This leads to both faction's plans being scuppered.
  • Karmic Death: Abbas's attempts to gain the power of a Shifter cause him to get permanently turned into one and then killed by Sandhri, the sole survivor of his genocidal campaign against the bats.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Abbas tries to gain the power of a shifter, but is betrayed by the K'aath cult and turned into a mindless beast with no way of turning back. His mindless rage drives him to attack Sandhri, who kills him with a knife through the eye.
  • Marry Them All: That is Sandhri's solution to learning that Yarïm has grown to love both Prince Raschid and herself.
  • Nice Hat: After his spectacularly successful military campaign, Prince Raschid takes to sporting a headdress given to him by his new friend and ally, a desert nomad warrior king. While Raschid thinks it looks great on him, his mother can't stand it and it marks the growing separation from his domineering mother.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Raschid inflicts one on Abbas for torturing and planning to rape Yarim and then trying to flog Sandhri, breaking one of his teeth. If the Shah hadn't showed up Abbas probably would have been killed.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Tsu-Khan is an immortal necromancer who can only be killed by destroying his heart of stone. And he's actually a human sorceror from an alternate universe who took over an arctic fox's body.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Shifters transform into hulking feral beasts that can only be harmed by silver, fire, or magic.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: Tsau-yi Meng, a gentle wandering panda and monk from that world's equivalent of China. He's naive and cuddly, but he can do his part magnificently when things get tough.
  • Post-Rape Taunt: An unusual variant; Abbas does not taunt his rape victims or their loved ones, but instead his male lover Sarwah, who he mocks by telling him that he prefers raping the slave girls to having sex with him.
  • Potty Emergency: As if Raschid didn't have enough trouble dodging the amorous and sexy Harem Matron coming on to him, he also has to drain his bladder at that moment and privies seemed utterly inaccessible. Furthermore, he may be a modest prince, but he has enough pride that draining out a window for potentially anyone to see is out of the question for him. Eventually he does find an appropriate facility and afterwards savors the vivid reminder that the simple pleasures are the best as he enjoys the euphoria of revealing his problem.
  • Power of Love: A critical factor in both books is that love is more powerful than any magic, to the point that utilising The Power of Love against shifters is enough to physically burn them.
  • Royal Harem: The Osranii palace contains an extensive one which Yarim is forced into. Raschid frees them all at the end of the first book.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Sandhri is really impressed at what a good bath and talented tailors can do for her.
  • Slave Liberation: Raschid buys a small army’s worth of slaves, arms them with match-lock muskets, and promises to free them after just a couple years if they fight for him. After they help him win the succession he frees all slaves in Osra.
  • Something We Forgot: After the climax, when everyone is calming down, Shifter-Abbas, forgotten since much earlier, comes back suddenly to attack Sandhri.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: Tsu-Khan, the Necromancer type. Sandhri's tales claim that thousands of years ago four sorcerors from Earth came to their world when Earth lost its magic and conquered it. Three were killed in the inevitable revolt; the fourth became the Tsu-Khan.
  • Succession Crisis: Abbas is the shah's first-born son but his mother is only second wife, while Raschid is the first wife's son, both have claims and multiple factions backing them, most of them aren't above assassination. Once the shah dies it's mere hours before Raschid is the last member of the royal family left alive.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Abbas inflicts this on Yarim, and attempts to do the same to Sandhri when she gets in his way before Raschid intervenes.
  • Uncertain Doom: K'aath is dragged off somewhere at the climax of the first book, but what happens afterwards, or even where she's going, isn't clear.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Abbas suffers one over Yarïm's refusal to break, being reduced to ranting about how she must submit before attempting to flog Sandhri when she gets in his way despite this being a serious offence, too lost in his rage to care.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Abbas definitely would; for him, sex is not complete without a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and resisting gets you flogged half to death.
    • Sarwah as well, since he savagely beat one of the harem girls for being raped by Abbas and slaps Yarim for mocking him.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: You Gotta Have Blue Fur. Yarïm's fur is magically dyed. The enslaved species that are mainly rodents and lapines have their fur dyed before being sold at the slave markets of Osra.
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