Doodled books is proud to present a stunning new debut called Skin by Ilka Tampke. These rare first edition first printings have been signed and doodled by the author at her home in Melbourne. There are 4 variants of doodle and they are not to be missed. Already the book has had some brilliant reviews worldwide!

It’s true to say Hodder & Stoughton acquired a “captivating, full-blooded" debut set in Celtic Britain. Editor Emily Kitchin bought British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada and Australia New Zealand, to Skin and its sequel by Ilka Tampke from Sarah Lutyens at Lutyens and Rubinstein on behalf of Michael Heyward at Text Publishing in Melbourne.


Skin is set in AD 43, where the Caer Cad are a people who measure lineage by skin name. A young girl, Ailia, must protect her people and their pagan way of life from the dark forces of invading Rome. Hodder said Skin combined “epic storytelling with a strikingly unique plot set during a fascinating period of Britain’s history”.


Kitchin said: “Skin is an utterly spellbinding novel, and Ailia an unforgettable heroine, fierce and fearless. Ilka writes with extraordinary power and her ability to spirit the reader back into an era lost to us – one of tribalism and ritual and war – and to weave her own magic through it, captivated me from the first line.”


Tampke said: “As a white Australian, I will never know an ancestral connection to my country. Writing Skin was my way of imagining the possibility of my own ancient history. Along the way, I have fallen in love with the wild, magical, freedom-loving personality of iron-age Britain.”


About the book


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.

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



'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 Ekbåck, 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 (


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 Chronicles)


[An] enticing and immensely satisfying debut (Good Reading Australia)


Powerful and assured...Skin will appeal to lovers of historical fiction and lovers of literary fiction equally as well. It is an accomplished, absorbing and powerful debut. (The Hoopla)


`Skin is a beautiful and brilliant book, a masterpiece' (John Marsden, author of the Tomorrow series)


'Ilka Tampke's intriguing Skin is a cracker...A thrilling debut, it throbs with the passions of a young woman's sexual awakening and paints a brutal world teeming with enticing detail that teases out a pagan past soon to be subsumed by Christianity...Those who root for Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen will find much to love in Ailia's personal quest, with Tampke more successfully navigating the realms of almost fantasy than Ishiguro, marking her out as an exciting talent to watch.' (New Daily Australia)


'Conjuring up a wholly alien world with impressive imagination, Tampke has created a visceral tale of ritual, magic and violence' (The Sunday Times)


'[Skin] slowly sucks you in and before you know it you've been completely hooked...At its core, Skin is a young girl's coming of age story, but its resonant prose, distinct characters, thematic depth and emotional sensitivity all combine to form a tale as evocative as it is compelling. 9/10' (Starburst Magazine)


Blends historical fiction and fantasy to great effect...a page-turning novel of transcendence and change (Guardian)


A tender, lyrical novel of family and fame (S Magazine)

Book Description

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'sClan of the Cavebear.

About the Author

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.

Product details

  • First Edition First Printing

  • Hardcover: 368 pages

  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (6 Aug. 2015)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1473616425

  • ISBN-13: 978-1473616424

  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.2 x 24 cm



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