A thrilling historical novel of one woman's journey to protect her people, perfect for fans of Outlander, Game of Thrones, and Britannia.
'A visceral tale of ritual, magic and violence' THE SUNDAY TIMES
'Filled with drama and passion... I was captivated' ANTONIA HODGSON
'Those who root for Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen will find much to love in Ailia's quest' NEW DAILY
Ailia has never truly belonged, for she has no totem, no 'skin'. Without skin, she is not allowed to learn the traditions of her ancestors, or to marry.
But this is Celtic Britain, and the dark power of the Roman Empire is gathering in the distance.
As Ailia's people prepare to face a brutal enemy and an uncertain future, it is Ailia who must embrace the extraordinary power which lies within her... and who must stand, alone, to protect the people she loves from the end of everything they've ever known.
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. Her debut novel Skin was published to critical acclaim. Songwoman is her second novel.
'What a brilliant and original idea for a novel. I couldn't resist reading the first line and then the first paragraph, then the first chapter, even though I was supposed to be doing something else. I am hooked! [Ilka] is an amazing writer.' — Karen Maitland, author of The Vanishing Witch
'Skin is a mesmerising read, set in a distant past that feels both real and magical. Filled with drama and passion, it is also an intensely soulful story about courage, sacrifice and belonging. I was captivated.' — Antonia Hodgson, author of THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA
I am in awe of Ilka's ability to recreate a Britain of AD 43. Caer Cad is alive and I felt I was there, standing by its fires, from page one. A great book — Cecilia Ekbåck, author of WOLF WINTER
This book gripped me from the first, with a haunting scene of spirit and sacrifice in the opening pages that left me horrified and intrigued; from there I could barely pull myself away from the book and Ailia's journey — Alphareader.com
I loved the depth, sincerity and beauty of Skin. It gives a name and a shape to our capacity for yearning. — Isobelle Carmody, author of the Obernewtyn Chronicles
[An] enticing and immensely satisfying debut — Good Reading Australia
Powerful and assured...Skin will appeal to lovers of historical fiction and lovers of literary fiction equally as well. It is an accomplished, absorbing and powerful debut. — The Hoopla
`Skin is a beautiful and brilliant book, a masterpiece' — John Marsden, author of the Tomorrow series
'Ilka Tampke's intriguing Skin is a cracker...A thrilling debut, it throbs with the passions of a young woman's sexual awakening and paints a brutal world teeming with enticing detail that teases out a pagan past soon to be subsumed by Christianity...Those who root for Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen will find much to love in Ailia's personal quest, with Tampke more successfully navigating the realms of almost fantasy than Ishiguro, marking her out as an exciting talent to watch.' — New Daily Australia
'Conjuring up a wholly alien world with impressive imagination, Tampke has created a visceral tale of ritual, magic and violence' — The Sunday Times
'[Skin] slowly sucks you in and before you know it you've been completely hooked...At its core, Skin is a young girl's coming of age story, but its resonant prose, distinct characters, thematic depth and emotional sensitivity all combine to form a tale as evocative as it is compelling. 9/10' — Starburst Magazine