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Skin by Ilka Tampke


Ilka Tampke

Every now and then we do a book that is a little bit hard to define—it doesn’t fit easily into a genre and therefore we have to yell a bit louder to make sure it gets into the hands of readers who will love it. This is one of the things Text does really well—think Miles Franklin award-winning literary crime novelist Peter Temple; think Graeme Simsion’s romantic comedies written from the perspective of a guy whose mind works a bit differently; think John Ajvide Lindqvist’s literary horror.

Skin is a book that blurs the boundaries between history, mythology, fantasy and romance, making it hard to see what bookshelf it belongs on. But this is an epic tale that will have you completely enthralled.

It is AD 43 and Iron-Age Britain is on the cusp of Roman invasion. Ailia, abandoned at birth, has no ‘skin’. She is saved by a servant of the Caer Cad people for whom ‘skin’ is their totem, their greeting, their ancestors, their land. Without ‘skin’ Ailia is not permitted to marry, she is excluded from tribal ceremonies and, most devastatingly, she is forbidden to learn. But the Mothers, the tribal ancestors, have chosen her for another path.

Skin is a full-blooded and mesmerising novel about the collision of two worlds, and a young woman torn between two men.

Local author Ilka Tampke spent several years writing and researching British history and mythology to produce this seemingly effortless work of storytelling. Visit Ilka’s website to find out more about her journey to publication.

Praise for Skin

‘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


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