Southwest Britain, AD 43.
For the people of Caer Cad, 'skin' is their belief, their greeting, their ancestors, their land.
Ailia does not have skin. Abandoned at birth, she serves the Tribequeen of her township. Ailia is forbidden to marry, left out of tribal ceremonies and, most devastatingly, barred from attending lessons. But an encounter with a mysterious fish sets her on another path. The Mothers, the tribal ancestors, have chosen her to become their highest knowledge-bearer - the Kendra.
Lured by the beautiful and enigmatic Taliesin, who appears to her as both man and fish, 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, mesmerizing 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.