Dandin's work as a novelist, poet and pioneering theorist of literary style has secured for him an important place in classical Sanskrit literature. He lived in Kanchi, near present-day Chennai, in the period c. AD 650?750, during the Pallava rule. The Dasa Kumara Charitam is a prose romance recounting the exploits of Prince Rajavahana and his nine companions. Its colourful tales of adventure are notable for their ironic humour, amoral outlook and uninhibited descriptions of contemporary life and manners. A remarkable feature of the stories is the geographical sweep of their action, ranging from present-day Punjab to Kerala, Gujarat to Assam and all the way to the islands of the Indian Ocean. Also remarkable is the rich variety of characters and situations. Dandin vivifies each personage, major and minor, and provides lively accounts of assassinations, executions, dance festivals and royal assemblies, describes at length the training of a courtesan, and even the tools for burgling a house. Even though Tales of the Ten Princes can be enjoyed for its absorbing stories alone, it is also a wonderfully detailed sociological account of an important age in ancient India.