Southwest Britain, AD 43.
For the people of Caer Cad, 'skin' is their totem, their greeting, their ancestors, their land.
Ailia does not have skin. Abandoned at birth, she serves the Tribequeen of her township. Ailia is not permitted to marry, excluded from tribal ceremonies and, most devastatingly, forbidden to learn. But the Mothers, the tribal ancestors, have chosen her for another path.
Lured by the beautiful and enigmatic Taliesin, Ailia embarks on an unsanctioned journey to attain the knowledge that will protect her people from the most terrifying invaders they have ever faced.
Set in Iron-Age Britain on the cusp of Roman invasion, Skin is a thrilling, full-blooded, mesmerising novel about the collision of two worlds, and a young woman torn between two men.
Ilka Tampke was awarded a Glenfern Fellowship in 2012. Her short stories and articles have been published in several anthologies. She lives in Woodend, Australia. Skin is her first novel.
'I loved the depth, sincerity and beauty of Skin. It gives a name and a shape to our capacity for yearning.' Isobelle Carmody
'Skin will appeal to lovers of historical fiction and lovers of literary fiction equally as well. It is an accomplished, absorbing and powerful debut.' Hoopla
'Myth, mystery, history and romance are artfully intertwined in Australian author Ilka Tampke's enticing and immensely satisfying debut.' Good Reading
'[Tampke's] vision is clear and brought to life vividly through the strength of her singular heroine. We have not heard the last from this resonant new Australian voice.' Readings
'Tampke carries readers to a most remarkable time of the Iron Age...We've just welcomed a remarkable new voice in Australian literature, and I can't wait to read what she comes up with next.' Alpha Reader, blogger
'Skin is a beautiful and brilliant book, a masterpiece.' John Marsden
'Those who root for Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen will find much to love in Ailia's personal quest.' News Daily