Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Skin by Ilka Tampke

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 4149
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: An Abiding Fire by M L Logue & The Flower Girls by Alice Clark Platts
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Skin by Ilka Tampke

Post by Vanessa » Sun July 5th, 2015, 1:14 pm

Skin by Ilka Tampke

Imagine a world where everyone is born with a 'skin' name. Without skin you cannot learn, you are not permitted to marry, and you grow up an outsider amongst your own people.

This is no future dystopia. This is Celtic Britain.

It is AD 43. For the Caer Cad, 'skin' name determines lineage and identity. Ailia does not have skin; despite this, she is a remarkable young woman, intelligent, curious and brave. As a dark threat grows on the horizon - the aggressive expansion of the Roman Empire - Ailia must embark on an unsanctioned journey to attain the knowledge that will protect her people, and their pagan way of life, from the most terrifying invaders they have ever faced... and it is this unskinned girl who will come to hold the fate of her people in her hands.

SKIN is a full-blooded debut which invokes the epic storytelling of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones, the rich historical detail of Madeline Miller's Song of Achilles, and the genre-transcending magic of Jean M. Auel's Clan of the Cavebear.

'Those who root for Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen will find much to love in Ailia's personal quest' - New Daily Australia

My Review:

A very imaginative and fascinating story set in Iron Age Britain just before the Roman invasion. It is told in the first person by Ailia, a young kitchen girl, who is left as a baby on the doorstep of the tribe queen of Caer Cad, one of the hill towns in Durotriga, now known as Somerset. She is brought up by the cookmother and is trained in the art of plantcraft. She yearns for 'skin', her totem or identity, without which she is not allowed to gain knowledge or marry, thus allowing her to be a journey woman. As Ailia grows up, she meets and falls in love with the mysterious Taliesin. She finds that she does, in fact, have certain powers and that she is destined to be a leader, the Kendra of her people.

This is an absorbing and gripping tale about the mystical world of Druids, with their beliefs and rituals, and the coming of a new age. It's captivating and engrossing historical fiction with a hint of fantasy. It's beautifully written and vividly told. The superb research that has gone into the writing of this book deserves a mention, too! The characters are very believable and well drawn. It brings home the fact that sometimes things happen for a reason, as in the Roman invasion of Britain who brought the country civilisation of a type. A fantastic and engaging read which I can thoroughly recommend.

This is the author's debut novel and I look forward to reading the sequel.

Many thanks to Lovereading.co.uk for giving me the opportunity to read and review 'Skin' which will be published in August.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Posts: 3552
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun July 5th, 2015, 5:31 pm

Taliesin is one of my favorite mythic / hostorical persona. I must check this out!

Post Reply

Return to “By Author's Last Name R-Z”