Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Release Date: 06/08/15
Publisher:  Hodder


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.


I love historical fiction, especially when its set in a time period to which I’m familiar. Set in the first century this title by Australian Author Ilka Tampke, brings the plight of Iron Age Britains to the fore as the roman army (under the rule of Emperor Claudius) back to British shores just less than a century after Julius Caesar.

Written from the point of view of an outcast in the Celtic tribal system, we have a book that brings the world to life through her eyes. Its well written, the facts come across easily without seeming like an info dump and we are treated to a tale that allows the reader to see that whilst we think we’re advanced that our ancestors had a lot of the same worries that we ourselves suffer today.

Back this up with a good solid pace, lulls to catch your breath by as well as dialogue that works wonderfully and descriptive prose that really put you there all round makes this a debut I am more than pleased I caught. Cracking.

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