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Skin

by Ilka Tampke

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on Skin

It is easy to think of the Celts as savages and the Romans as the bringers of civilisation when in fact Celtic society was complex and well-structured. Skin captures the flavour of that ancient time beautifully. The people feel a strong connection to nature and magic is everywhere. Within this ordered society Ailia is a misfit. A wonderful narrator full of youthful fire, fear, confusion and joy. Her journey is strange and compelling, for her and the reader, as she is torn between loves and duties in two different worlds. It’s an extremely enjoyable historical fantasy and I look forward to the next one which will finish the story.

Sarah Broadhurst

Skin Synopsis

'A visceral tale of ritual, magic and violence' - The Sunday Times

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.

Win one of FOUR Copies of The Blue Bench

Win one of FOUR Copies of The Blue Bench

Closing date: 27/12/2018

"An interesting, unusual, emotional novel which examines the after-effects of the First World War."  Enter our competition to be in with a chance of winning a copy of this brilliant Historical novel. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 27th December 2018. The winners will be notified by 5th January 2018.

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Skin Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Catherine Jenkins - 'By turns wonderfully magical and bleakly real, this is a book that really does get under your skin, refusing easy routes and favouring plots as twisting as Celtic knots in its journey through a period that too often gets overlooked.'
  • Sue Wallace - 'I would recommend this book as a fairly easy read but one which is enthralling and gripping. The story held my interest and I found it hard to put down.'
  • Nicola Lowes - 'This was a very interesting book - I enjoyed it and empathised with Ailia, who is a convincing heroine.'
  • Hazel Saegert - 'Ilka Tampke has skilfully crafted a beautiful, moving and inspirational novel about a fascinating and often forgotten time in British history...that leaves me wanting more.'
  • Laura Gardner - 'A beautifully written world in which you can totally lose yourself. Lovely characters and an absolutely intriguing universe - really hoping for a sequel or series.'
  • Kathy Martin - 'This is an interesting book - certainly different! The subject is one seldom written about, and this is refreshing. I found it well-written, but would describe it as historical fantasy rather than historical fiction.'
  • Vikki Patis - 'Wow. It's not often that I'm lost for words, but with this book, it's hard not to be. I devoured Skin within hours...It's everything I love in a historical fiction.'
  • Anne Rhodes - 'This truly is one of the best books I've read in a long time! Gripping, intriguing from the first page.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Wow!! I can not praise this book enough!...just hoping there's a sequel.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'I struggled with this novel which is well written but just not my thing but I am sure it will be enjoyed by readers who like well written historical fiction.'
  • Alan Brown - 'A great story told from the perspective of tribal Britons. A rare viewpoint and an excellent read.'
  • Kathy Howell - 'I really enjoyed this book and will look for others by this author...The book is beautifully written and realky evokes the magic surrounding Ailia and the spirits in which her society believes.'
  • Vanessa Wild - 'An absorbing and gripping tale about the mystical world of Druids, with their beliefs and rituals, and the coming of a new age.  Captivating historical fiction with a hint of fantasy!'

Skin Press Reviews

'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 Ekback, 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

If you loved this, you might like these...

The Missing Sister
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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781473616431
Publication date: 16/06/2016
Publisher: Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781473616424
Publication date: 06/08/2015
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781473616431
Publication date: 16th June 2016
Author: Ilka Tampke
Publisher: Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Reading Groups,
Categories: Historical fiction, Fantasy,

About Ilka Tampke

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. Click here to read an exclusive 'Ask the Author' interview by Vikki Patis.   Author photo © Anna Street    

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