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Ilka Tampke's Daughter of Albion transports the reader to the village of Caer Cad in southwest Britain, 43 AD, where a swaddled baby is found, mysteriously motherless. She is named Ailia and although she is a remarkable girl - intelligent, curious and brave - she will be forbidden to marry, left out of tribal ceremonies, and barred from any sort of learning.Ailia is raisedIlka Tampke's Daughter of Albion transports the reader to the village of Caer Cad in southwest Britain, 43 AD, where a swaddled baby is found, mysteriously motherless. She is named Ailia and although she is a remarkable girl - intelligent, curious and brave - she will be forbidden to marry, left out of tribal ceremonies, and barred from any sort of learning.Ailia is raised by Cookmother in the kitchen of the ruling family and as a young woman she serves the Tribesqueen of her township, until the day when an encounter with a magical fish (who also appears to her as a beautiful and enigmatic man named Taliesen) leads Ailia to the Mothers, the tribal ancestors who have chosen her to become their highest knowledge-bearer. Ailia's growing awareness of her future role as the tribal protector and her relationships with the two very different men she loves will be utterly tested by the imminent threat of Emperor Claudius preparing to take the island.With an incredibly compelling heroine, Daughter of Albion is a suspenseful and richly rewarding novel about women, about power, about love, and about the clash of cultures and the tenacity of belief....

Title : daughter of albion
Author :
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ISBN : 26698429
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 366 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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daughter of albion Reviews

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-02-26 18:09

    This was one of the richest depictions of Celtic Britain I've found! I thought the author did really good job of showing the gritty aspects of daily life and making the whole world seem real (and brutal at times). I loved the strong female characters, the setting, and the way the writing had an almost dreamlike quality that sounded like someone recounting a legend. The basic story is about a girl named Ailia who was found as an infant and doesn't know her family. Because she doesn't know her totem (and is therefore without "skin"), she's considered born in body but not soul. She's not fully part of her tribe and isn't allowed to marry or participate in ceremonies. She slowly finds her place, though, and ends up playing an important role in the struggle against invading Roman forces. I think this is meant to be part of a series because the end left a bit to be desired. But I still really recommend this if you like Juliet Marillier -- it had a similar feeling!

  • Marianne
    2019-03-05 18:21

    “He was as dazzling and unfathomable as the night sky: in equal measure splendid and despondent, vital and injured, tender and cruel. He had an Elder’s wisdom, yet the wariness of a child, and in the force of these splits, the whole earth turned within his sprawling frame”Skin is the first novel by Australian author, Ilka Tampke, and the first book of a two-book series. Iron Age Britain, soon to be invaded by the Roman legions, is where fourteen-year-old Ailia works in the kitchens of the Tribequeen of the Durotriga people in the hilltown of Caer Cad. Ailia has cheated death twice: the Cookmother plucked her from the freezing doorstep soon after her birth; and she was spared from ritual sacrifice at the age of seven. But Ailia has no “skin”, no totem, having no mother to pass this on to her. Much as she craves to, tribal law dictates that, unskinned, she is forbidden to learn. Opinion about how to face the Roman invasion is deeply divided. The learned Journeyman, Llwyd and many of the warriors believe they must fight the invaders to retain their sacred ways. But Ruther, son of one of the warriors, has seen Rome and argues that submission and cooperation will cost less lives. LLwyd believes the battle can be won with the support of the Kendra of Albion, a wisewoman who links the tribe to the Mothers (gods). But the Kendra has been absent for twenty-one summers: will she come when the Durotriga need her most?Tampke creates the perfect blend of historical fiction with a touch of fantasy. Her extensive research into Iron Age Britain is apparent on every page, but this wealth of interesting knowledge is presented in a form that is easy to digest. Her prose is rich and beautiful. Her characters are fascinating, flawed yet striving for integrity, and their dialogue adds authenticity and the occasional gem of wisdom: “…fear could be fought with a curious mind. Hold questions like a torch before you”. While the climax is, perhaps, predictable, there are several plot twists to keep the reader guessing. This is an impressive debut from a talented author and readers will be eager to see where Tampke sends her plucky young heroine in the sequel. 4.5 stars

  • Kaitlin
    2019-03-08 19:10

    I was kindly sent a free arc of this book in exchange for an honest review :) I also read this book as part of the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon which was rather exciting and as a readathon book this worked very well because it's fun and fast paced and it's told in 1st person so it's quick to get into. This is the story of an ancient british tribe and the ideals, prophecies, magic and customs they hold dear to them with a particular focus on our main character, Ailia.What I found whilst reading this book was that it was very quick to start off introducing you to the world and that, whilst it does use modern language (not slang, just modern) it did feel like a real sense of tribe culture. I really would have loved to have the origins of the cultures explained a little more than they were because I think that would have really made the story that little bit more grounded and convincing, but it was easy to picture and believe.Our main character is Ailia and she's an unskinned which basically means she's a foundling and no-one knows who her family are. In this world the 'skin' is passed down from mother to daughter (females being important to the culture) and being unskinned means you're not allowed to learn any particular set of skills such as swimming or journeying etc. Ailia is a fairly competent character overall and although she's been told time and time again she cannot do things the others do, due to being unskinned, she has dreams and aspirations and when she starts to see omens, and meet unusual people things look like they could begin to change for her... but for the better or worse?!I had a few minor issues with the way that Ailia handled herself at some moments of the book as I felt she could have been stronger or better in places, but overall I think she was an easy character to read about and follow and you have a natural liking for her. Some of the other characters could have done with a little more fleshing out as there were some who were a little lacking, but it was a functional and believable set of main characters.The pacing of the story was fast and it certainly didn't take me all that long to read the entire book. I would say that it's a book which has always got something either happening or about to happen, making it an interesting read throughout, but equally it's not the most enchanting or thrilling book I have ever read. If you're taking part in a readathon or just want a fun, quick read with focus on ancient British culture then this may be a good one. I ended up giving it a 3.5*s overall, but I think that this is mostly a set up book and the next one in the series will more than likely get a lot more interesting in terms of the characters, magic and the plot. A fun read!

  • Christine Spoors
    2019-03-16 21:31

    I had high expectations going into this book, and I was not disappointed! It follows Ailia, a girl without 'skin' in 43 AD Celtic Britain. In this book a person's Skin is like a totem which they have depending on what their family has, for example a dog or a salmon. No one know's who Ailia's parents are and so she is without skin, and so not allowed to be educated or marry.I really loved the way Tampke wove this idea of 'skin' into her version of these ancient Celtic tribes, weaving in magic and druids throughout the story. The world-building was great and I was surprised by how brutal and realistic the world was. The author did not shy away from the reality of how harsh and difficult life would have been back then.The story is told in first person by Ailia and I found that I really liked her storytelling. I liked her as a character, and it was interesting that she was uneducated as that meant that the reader was also clueless about a lot of the world, and learnt as she did. The plot was full of twists and turns, and I could never guess what was going to happen next.It's clear that the author did a lot of research on Celtic Britain and druids before writing this book, and that really helped the writing. Although there was a lot of magic woven into the story I never felt like it was unrealistic or too far fetched. I would really recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of Juliet Marillier and Celtic stories!

  • RitaSkeeter
    2019-03-14 22:12

    Isabelle Carmody, an author I've read since I was in my very early teens, describes this book on the back cover as being a book about yearning. In just a few words Carmody captures the soul of this book.Ailia is withoutskin , or in terms perhaps more understandable to contemporary readers, her parentage is not known. Whilst Ailia was adopted, and loved, by the cook at Caer Cad she was not able to participate fully in society due to her lack of skin. Ailia was unable to be taught skills learnt by other children in the tribe and unable to marry those with skin. And so we see Ailia yearn. Yearn for knowledge, for acceptance, and for the belonging those with skin have but is denied to her. A different type of yearning is introduced later when we see Ailia attempt to change her position due to her love of a man with skin.The book is set in Iron Age Britain, and provides a fascinating 'what if' view of that society. It was the sections set at Caer Cad, and the struggles Ailia faced, that I found most gripping and fascinating. Of particular interest to me was the portrayal of a Britain on the brink of Roman invasion, and the way different characters responded to that. I was confused by the final message the author left the book with here though, and I'm not sure I followed the point being made. It could be said that the book has fantasy elements, such as those chapters that speak of Ailia's training to be (view spoiler)[ the Kendra(hide spoiler)]. Whilst there are fantastical elements, I don't see this as fantasy, but rather an attempt by the author to show the spirituality of the Iron Age Britons. Those other worldly scenes being the result of hallucinatory drugs, rather than a fantasy world. Many may differ with me on this interpretation, but I felt the author's intention was to write of the spirituality rather than create an historical fantasy novel. I enjoyed the messages about connection to the earth and land, and how these were to be lost with Roman invasion. This is the message in the book that resonated most strongly with me, and that I believe we, as a modern society, need to hear again and again until we listen.The sections of the book I struggled with were those concerning Taliesin. I felt his inclusion was more a plot device to provide Ailia with motivation and a reason for moving from A to B to C, rather than as a meaningful character who helped develop the world and themes. Overall, this was an interesting book, and one I read through quickly to find out what happened (I have been slack in writing a review). I enjoyed this book, and will look out for future offerings from this author. I would love to see further novels from her set in this era. This also happens to be my very first Goodreads First Reads win! So thank-you to Goodreads and to Text Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  • Kittyzer
    2019-03-12 22:24

    http://www.back-down-to-earth.de/2016...Das war gut:- Das radikale Ende: Brutal, unerbittlich und damit erstmals überraschend- Das Setting: Britannien im Jahre 40 n. Chr., wie geil ist das denn?! Rituale, alte Sitten, die Bedrohung durch die Römer, das alles wird gut dargestellt. Geht nur leider im Rest unter.Das war richtig, richtig mies:- Die Liebesgeschichte: Insta-Love lässt grüßen. Ailia und Taliesin treffen sich dreimal und lieben sich unendlich, der Funke springt überhaupt nicht über. Zudem steht Ailia nebenbei noch auf einen jungen, verblendeten Krieger, mit dem sie immer wieder Sex hat. Oh je.- Die Protagonistin: Egoistischer geht es kaum. Sie verbringt lieber Nachmittage mit ihrem Kerl, als einer anderen Person die dringend benötigten Medikamente zu bringen. Oder bleibt für eine Liebesnacht bei eben diesem - auf seine Bitte hin -, obwohl sie weiß, dass eine geliebte Person gerade im Sterben liegt. (Fällt was auf? Die passen ganz gut zueinander, egoistisch sind sie nämlich beide.) Sie hält sich nie an Anweisungen und lässt grundsätzlich alle im Stich. Sympathisch geht anders. Lieblingszitat: "Anscheinend war ich mit Wissen begabt, besaß aber nicht genug Verstand und Intuition, um es gut zu nutzen." Kann ich so unterschreiben!- Pure Langeweile: Selbst in Szenen, in denen endlich mal nicht nur geredet oder intensiv nachgedacht wird, sondern tatsächlich etwas getan, erwartet einen gähnende Langeweile, was wahrscheinlich am drögen Stil liegt.- Sex mit einem Fisch: Muss ich dazu noch mehr sagen?Einfach nö.

  • ALPHAreader
    2019-03-08 00:02

    ‘Skin’ is the debut historical fiction/fantasy novel from Australian author (and member of my wonderful writer’s group) Ilka Tampke.The book is set in AD 43 (Iron Age Britain), and our narrator is ‘skinless’ Ailia of Cad who was found by Cookmother on the doorstep of the Tribequeen. She is raised in the kitchens, and taught the art of healing by Cookmother, but still Ailia longs for what she cannot have and will not be without skin – a journeywoman. Born to the skinless, or lost to their families before naming, the unskinned were not claimed by a totem. Their souls were fragmented, unbound to the Singing. If they remained little seen, they were not despised, not usually harmed. The townspeople gave them enough grain, cloaks and work, if they would do it. But they could not live within the town walls because no one could be sure of who they were. I quickened my pace and Neha trotted beside me. Skin was gifted from mother to child by a song. I had no mother. I had no skin. But I had been spared. Just.When she is of age at Beltane, Ailia meets the warrior Ruther who affectionately calls her ‘Daughter of the Doorstep’ and may wish to make her kin. She also meets the mysterious Taliesin one day by the river, not sure if he is bard or magician. And when Ailia starts exhibiting powers the skinless should not possess, her life seems destined for greater things ... 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;The journeymen and women started to sing down the songs of our tribe in powerful harmony. I could sense the expectation in the gathering, the pulsing of hearts and the coursing of blood. This ritual was part of our story, part of our truth, but the terribleness of it was never forgotten.From there I could barely pull myself away from the book and Ailia’s journey.Tampke transports readers to an incredible moment in history, to Iron Age Britain when ‘the tendrils of Roman ways had touched Caer Cad’ and Emperor Claudius’s Roman army are preparing to invade. It is a time of druids and tribelands, a reach back into a very real time that Tampke recreates so viscerally with language and these characters.Isobelle Carmody provides an endorsement quote for the book, which is so fitting because I would recommend ‘Skin’ to anyone who enjoys the ‘Obernewtyn Chronicles’ – for both author’s rich language and world-building, but especially the incredible journeys of their female heroes. While reading I also thought of Margo Lanagan’s short stories and dark fantasy tales, and Melina Marchetta’s ‘Lumatere Chronicles’ fantasy series. Because there is a touch of magic woven throughout ‘Skin’, which works seamlessly with the mystery of the Iron Age – Ailia’s unexpected powers, Taliesin’s mysticism and transformation – and always, the ‘journeypeople’ druids, their religion and sacrificial ways. Indeed, while ‘Skin’ is an adult novel, I found that there’s a lot here young adult readers will love too. There is romance and brutality, but it’s nothing young readers haven’t read before or will be shocked by in the context of history and fantasy.I loved this book, and our hero Ailia. Tampke carries readers to a most remarkable time of the Iron Age – when druids were revered and the tribal lands of Britain were about to be changed forever, when Skin was everything and magic seemed inevitable. Ilka Tampke's book is already creating buzz in Australia and overseas, and for good reason - we’ve just welcomed a remarkable new voice in Australian literature, and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next.

  • Mel Campbell
    2019-02-21 19:15

    I devoured this book in one epic reading session that went from about 10pm to 3:30am. I thought I'd stop maybe halfway through but I just kept reading. At first I found the language a little self-consciously florid and weird, as if that's what's 'expected' in fantasy, but ultimately it was utterly beguiling: basically it lulled me into the same credulous, visceral kind of reading I used to do when I was a tween and early teen. And although this is a story for adults, it's got much the same 'hero's journey' plot of YA fantasy novels: a heroine discovering her lineage, her capabilities and her nascent powers. Basically, this is like all the books I used to love – Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain; Alan Garner's novels, Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea books; Margaret Mahy's The Changeover; even Bill Scott's Boori.Man, I just ate this up. Having recently reread Jean M. Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear books for an essay I wrote on feminist paleo, I was already in the general headspace of Iron Age Albion, with its Celtic festivals and use of herbs and romantic rivalries. Since Druidic cultures were oral cultures, the only archival evidence we have of them is from the Romans who conquered them; otherwise there's only archaeological evidence, and like Auel, Tampke has made the imaginative leap to create a society governed, like Australian indigenous societies, by matrilineal 'skin' totems, and with a matriarchal deity system and a wise priestly/scholarly/legal caste.I loved the way magic and ritual are so important to this book, and the boundaries between the real, tangible world and the spirit world are so indistinct and permeable. But I also enjoyed the earthy, sensuous qualities of it: the way weather and landscape and seasonality and the rhythms of work have real heft to them here, and sex is a source of pleasure, not shame. The teen girl in me – who was really the one reading this book – totally dug the love triangle: Ruther loves Ailia, who loves Taliesin. Tampke's lush writing style was very satisfying when it came to the love scenes, especially the 'salmon sex' scene.I enjoyed that while Ailia is exiled from the skin system that governs her culture, nonetheless it gives her life meaning, and she's unable to disavow it in favour of more 'modern' Roman ways, as her sophisticated lover Ruther does. I also enjoyed her mystic journey into the sacred feminine on her voyages into the world of the Mothers, and the way her powers as the Kendra grew with her knowledge. Tampke is clearly setting up a series of these, and I will no doubt eat those up as well.

  • Aoife
    2019-03-01 00:08

    I received a free copy of this book from Hodder in exchange for an honest review.Ailia is a young woman growing up in a tribe in Celtic Britain. Her tribe believe in something called Skin which is something yu are given and taught by your mother from birth but Ailia was abandoned by her mother as a newborn and is skinless. As Ailia tries to figure out who she is, she learns that the higher powers may have something in store for her as the Roman Empire marches ever closer.I really, really enjoyed this book. It is descriptive, fascinating and I just couldn’t put it down. Ailia is a fantastic character - she is kind, beautiful, driven, charismatic. I loved her. I thought the world building within the tribe and the Mother’s Realm was pretty well done and while the whole idea of ‘skin’ was really confusing at first, I did start to get the hang of it the more Ailia explained it. I really enjoyed how her learning went though I would have liked a bit more focus on her lessons, I just love those kind of things in books. A lot of Ailia’s learning and time in the Mother’s Realm seemed to go really fast and I think the story would have benefitted with it being slowed down a little bit. This book is jam-packed with amazing, strong female characters - from Ailia, her kitchen sisters, her cook mother, Fraid the tribesqueen and then of course, the Mothers who are the form of gods in this world. The women in this book really hold their own power in their hands, and they control their sexuality and their bodies - they can choose who and when they give themselves to and aren’t beholden to forced marriages or virginity, etc. The ending left me slightly unsatisfied. It was a bit grim and not really what I was expecting and I couldn’t help wonder what was the point of Ailia’s entire journey up to that point, considering everything that happened. I would love to continue on with Ailia’s journey though.

  • Nick Reeve
    2019-03-02 17:03

    'Skin' is a beautifully crafted story that resonated deeply within me. Ilka has created the notion that 'skin' is identity, and consequently the novel pursues the importance to understand and uphold this. The setting for Skin is SW England AD 43-47, time of the Roman invasion. The journey of central character Ailia, a tribesperson of Albion (Ancient Britain), leads the reader through this adventure. Real locations and historical timelines are set against a fantastic mystical dimension, with a nod to Glastonbury Tor, very nicely and subtly done. As the narrative transitions between the 'hard' world and the 'other' world, Ailia's strong character beautifully anchors the reader throughout. Many memorable other characters populate this vivid world. The detail and accuracy of the environment draws an intricate and uncompromising picture. This book is obviously historically well researched. The plot twists and turns literally up to the last page! I had a few moments where I drew breath as I read on, desperately wanting to turn the next page. I love books that cleverly tie up loose ends and make relevant sense of plot points from earlier - Skin has this in abundance. The underlying message seems to be the desire to hold on to deep traditions and rituals that have defined communities and individuals, and to not give way to 'technology'; ie the Celtic culture versus the oncoming storm of Roman invasion. Food for thought. I thoroughly enjoyed 'Skin'. Ilka's début novel has a thrilling elegance and thought-provoking intellect, plus it's pretty sexy! Perfect for readers who love authentic realism and beautifully created escapism. I hear this is a duology....! I am ready for more Skin...Excellent read!Nick

  • Anna
    2019-03-12 18:22

    I loved this book. It takes you into the world of ancient Britain where women are powerful and Goddesses are worshipped. It creates a vivid picture of life in a Celtic tribe - one that is on the cusp of being invaded by the Romans. But it also takes you journeying to places that have become lost to us now... Skin is beautifully written, fascinating, and above all a rip-roaring good read. And while it is definitely one for the women, my husband is reading it now and also can't put it down!

  • Sally906
    2019-03-03 20:20

    Wow - great read

  • ✍Neyla Kunta ✍
    2019-03-20 22:23

    Rezension, wie immer besser, hier: https://neylakunta.wordpress.com/2016...Fakten über das Buch:Verlag: PenhaligonSeitenzahl: 480ISBN:978-3-7645-3143-0Preis: 19,99€Lesezeitraum: 24/7/16 – 4/8/16Kurzbeschreibung:In Caer Cad bestimmt die Tierhaut ob du jemand bist. Denn für die Bewohner des Stammes bedeutet die Haut alles. Sie ist das Bindeglied zwischen der festen Welt und der Welt der Mütter, zu der nur die Gereisten Zugang haben. Ailia wird niemals auch nur die Chance erhalten eine Gereiste zu werden, und dass obwohl sie über viel Wissen verfügt. Denn Ailia ist eine Waise und ohne Haut. Sie hat demnach keine Rechte. Doch durch einen geheimnisvollen jungen Mann ändert sich alles für Ailia. Plötzlich scheint man ihre Haut zu kennen und sie soll zur stärksten Gereisten ausgebildet werden. Zur Kendra. Dies ist auch nötig wenn sie ihr Land vor den Römern beschützen und ihre große Liebe nicht verlieren will…Cover:Ich finde dass die Farbzusammenstellung des Covers sehr gut ist. Blau und Orange habe ich auch öfter zusammen gewählt und dadurch kommt das Symbol mit den drei Lachsen sehr gut zur Geltung. An sich passt dieses auch gut zur Geschichte, ich kann verstehen warum nicht nur ein Fisch darauf zu sehen ist – das wäre wahrscheinlich zu langweilig. Jedenfalls ist das Cover von Skin gut gewählt & ein echter Blickfang. (Sogar der Buchrücken ist nicht so langweilig, so dass ich kein schlechtes Gewissen dabei habe, es mit dem Rücken hinzustellen:) )Handlungsverlauf:Die Geschichte beginnt mit Ailias Aufnahme in der Küche der Stammeskönigin durch Kochmutter, welche schon viele Kriegerkinder aufgezogen hatte. Am Anfang war ich sehr skeptisch gegenüber Kochmutter, das legte sich aber schnell wieder als wir zum nächsten Abschnitt kommen; der großen Versammlung die alle sieben Jahre stattfindet und bei der ein Kind, welches in den letzten sieben Jahren geboren wurde, geopftert wird. So viel vorweg: Ailia überlebt.Nochmal sieben Jahre später geht dann die eigentliche Geschichte los.Hierbei muss ich aber bemerken, dass die Handlung für mich alles andere als spannend war und manchmal sehr…komisch. (Mild ausgedrückt.) Ungern möchte ich jetzt die Umstände beschreiben, wie es dazu kommt, dass ausgerechnet unsere hautlose Protagonistin zur Kendra ausgebildet werden soll, da ihr euch ja sonst das Buch sparen könnt.Allerdings möchte ich einige Sachen hervorheben, die demnach Spoiler enthalten, die mir augestoßen sind und mir einfach nicht gefallen haben. (Ich habe nicht wirklich viele Stellen die mir gefielen.:/ )Ailia ist während eines großen Teiles der Geschichte 14. Ich meine 14. Also, behaltet das bitte bei den nächsten Dingen im Hinterkopf.Am Beltaneabend legte sie sich schon zu ihrem ersten Mann, dass einfach so obwohl sie ihn scheinbar gar nicht persönlich mag, nur sein Aussehen eben. Danach verhält sie sich meiner Meinung nach auch nicht ihrem Alter entsprechend sondern wie eine Frau, die dies schon sehr oft gemacht hat, und nichts mehr dafür übrig hat. – Ich weiß ja, dass die Geschichte 43 v. Chr. spielt aber war die Zeit damals wirklich so? Wenn mir jemand genauere Infos geben kann: nur zu.Sie geht immer wieder in die Nähe des ihr verbotenen alten Waldes bis sie ihn schließlich betritt, natürlich wegen ihrer großen Liebe. Aber dass dafür fast ein Mann gestorben wäre, dem sie hätte Heilkräuter etc. bringen sollen, ist ihr dann auch wieder fast egal. Sie verhält sich naiv und das entspricht dann wieder ihrem Alter.Und dann kam die komischste Stelle von allen in diesem Buch, ich bezweifle auch je in einem anderen Buch etwas derart komisches gelesen zu haben; sie treibt es mit einem Fisch unter Wasser.Ja. Lasst es wirken. Ich weiß. – Ich glaube, ich muss dazu nichts mehr sagen.Dazu kommen später schließlich auch die Reisen ins Reich der Mütter. Ich habe keine wirkliche Ahnung wie ich diese beschreiben soll und es kam mir letztendlich nur vor, als hätte Ailia irgendwelche Drogen zu sich genommen und wäre dann ins Reich der Phantastik eingedrungen.Versteht mich nicht falsch, ich fande die Geschichte zunächst wirklich gut, habe an das Buch geglaubt aber am Ende wollte ich es einfach nur noch abbrechen und musste mich durchquälen. Und einige Dingen waren wirklich einfach vorhersehbar und haben mich nicht überrascht. Spannung war weg.Das Ende war aber sehr realistisch und für mich nachvollziehbar. Es war einfach echt und es hat mich überrascht, dass Ilka Tampke Ailias Geschichte so für uns hat enden lassen.Schreibstil, Charaktere, etc.:Der Schreibstil war am Anfang zunächst etwas Neues für mich dem ich nicht viel entgegenzusetzen hatte, außer dass er sich nicht so ganz flüssig hat lesen lassen. Später war er für mich nur noch anstrengend, streckend und ich musste mich zum weiterlesen zwingen. Wie will ich eine richtige Rezension schreiben, wenn ich nicht mal zu Ende gelesen habe?Bei Ailia ist es für mich wie bei dem Schreibstil: gefiel mir am Anfang ganz gut, mit ein paar Fehlern, hat dann aber nachgelassen und mich nur noch genervt. Ich hätte sie am liebsten manchmal angeschrien. Sie war dann teilweise nur noch anstrengend für mich.Taliesin war für mich dann auch nur ein Nebencharakter. Klar, er ist angeblich die große Liebe unserer Protagonistin aber wo ist denn bitte diese Liebe wenn sie einfach mit einem Anderen schläft? Die Liebe kam ebenso bei mir gar nicht an. Naja- jedenfalls war Taliesin sehr flach, wie allgemein viele Charaktere und ich konnte wirklich zu keinem von ihnen eine Bindung aufbauen.Ruther war wahrscheinlich der cleverste von allen, denn er hat erkannt, dass die Römer eine Bedrohung waren, hat sich mit ihnen verbündet und sogar einen Friedenspakt ausgehandelt, damit niemand sterben muss und alle ihrem Leben wie gehabt nachgehen können. Ailia wollte er ebenfalls nur beschützen.Ich mochte ihn nicht wirklich, sein Verhalten gefiel mir manchmal nicht aber er hat immerhin mal nachgedacht und über den Tellerrand hinaus geblickt.Fazit:Skin von Ilka Tampke kann von Glück reden, dass es von mir 1,5-2 Sterne bekommen hat. ( 0 wäre ja zu wenig. ) Vieles ist mir gehörig gegen den Strich gegangen, die Charaktere waren flach, die Geschichte war komisch und mühselig zu lesen und zum Schluss musste ich mich immer wieder durch den Jungel der Ungereimheiten kämpfen. Doch dieser Kampf war es einfach nicht wert.Anmerkungen:Dies ist ein Rezensionsexemplar, welches ich vom Bloggerportal der Verlagsgruppe Randomhouse erhalten habe. Als Gegenleistung lese ich das erhaltene Buch und veröffentliche eine Rezension darüber. (Read-to-Review Basis.)

  • Mikka Gottstein
    2019-03-14 17:05

    Ilsa Tampke ist mit "Skin. Das Lied der Kendra" ein ungewöhnlicher, eindringlicher Debütroman gelungen, der eine fantasievolle Geschichte von Mystik und Magie erzählt, diese aber verwurzelt in einem Abschnitt unserer ganz realen Weltgeschichte: das Buch spielt zur Zeit der Eroberung Britanniens durch das römische Reich, also in der Späten Eisenzeit. Die Autorin verwebt das eine ganz natürlich und nahtlos mit dem anderen. Orte, die tatsächlich existiert haben, und Ereignisse, die historisch belegt sind, bilden eine solide Grundlage, auf deren Basis sich eine dichte Mythologie abseits der Klischees entfaltet."Haut" bedeutet für die Menschen Albions alles: Familie, Daseinsberechtigung, Ehre. Damit ist aber nicht die tatsächliche Haut oder Hautfarbe gemeint, sondern die Zugehörigkeit zu einem bestimmten Totemtier; zum Beispiel gibt es die Haut des Rehs oder die Haut des Hundes. Diese Zugehörigkeit wird mit traditionellen Gesängen von der Mutter an die Tochter weitergegeben, und wenn das aus irgendeinem Grund nicht geschehen ist, gilt das Kind als "hautlos" und "nur halb geboren". Die meisten Hautlosen fristen eine von Hunger, Krankheit und Armut geprägte Existenz, denn man verweigert ihnen jegliche Rechte.Ailia, die Heldin des Buches, wurde als Baby ausgesetzt und ist daher eine Hautlose. Ihr Glück im Unglück: sie wurde von der Frau, die sie fand, aufgenommen, darf in der Küche arbeiten und sogar der Stammeskönigin aufwarten. Was sie sich am meisten wünscht, darf sie jedoch nicht - ihre Wissbegierde ist unersättlich, aber das Gesetzt der Haut verbietet ihr das Lernen.Ailias Intelligenz und Wissensdurst haben mich schon nach wenigen Seiten für sie eingenommen. Sie erschien mir wie eine starke junge Heldin, die am Anfang einer großen Reise steht: sie muss ihren eigenen Wert entdecken und zugleich einen Weg finden, einer Bestimmung zu folgen, die den Gesetzen ihrer Welt zu widersprechen scheint.Allerdings hat sie ihre eigene Wertlosigkeit so verinnerlicht, dass sie immer wieder vor ihrem eigenen Mut erschrickt. Lange Zeit folgt auf jeden zögerlichen Schritt vorwärts stets ein Schritt zurück. Das hat mich beim Lesen manchmal richtig frustriert! Sogar nachdem klar wird, dass die Mütter selbst (die Göttinnen dieser Welt) Ailia eine eine wichtige Rolle bei der Rettung Albions zugedacht haben, kann sie sich nicht vollständig freisagen von den Gesetzen der Haut.Dennoch handelt sie trotz aller Selbstzweifel manchmal egoistisch, und auch das hat mich beim Lesen immer wieder aufseufzen lassen. Sie versäumt es zum Beispiel, einem Schwerkranken lebensnotwendige Medikamente zu bringen, um sich stattdessen mit einem jungen Mann zu treffen, und später im Buch verbringt sie mit ihm eine Liebesnacht, obwohl sie weiß, dass ein von ihr geliebter Mensch gerade mit dem Tode ringt und jede Minute sterben könnte...Apropos Liebesnacht: Ailia ist am Anfang der Geschichte zwar erst 14, aber in ihrer Kultur bereits eine erwachsene Frau und sexuell aktiv. Manche der Sexszenen haben zwar viel mit Lust, aber nur wenig mit Liebe zu tun, denn es gibt zwei Männer, die sie begehrt, aber nur für einen davon hat sie wahre Gefühle. Diese sind stark und ehrlich, und ich fand sie eigentlich sehr berührend, aber sie halten Ailia nicht davon ab, auch Sex mit dem anderen zu haben... Ich muss zugeben, das hat die emotionale Wirkung der Liebesgeschichte für mich deutlich geschmälert! (Auch auf die Sexszene mit einem Fisch hätte ich gut verzichten können.)Ilka Tampke hat mit Ailia eine Heldin erschaffen, die gute und schlechte Eigenschaften verbindet, auch mal Fehler macht, nicht immer sympathisch ist und gelegentlich katastrophal scheitert. Gerade das macht sie interessant, aber als Hauptfigur auch schwierig. Die anderen Charaktere lassen sich ebenfalls nicht so einfach in die Schubladen "gut" oder "böse" stecken, was mir an sich gut gefiel.Ein Blick ins Geschichtsbuch verrät schon viel darüber, wie das erste Kapitel von Ailias Reise ausgehen wird. Dennoch fand ich den Roman hochspannend und konnte (oder wollte) mich seinem Sog nicht entziehen. Vieles ist für moderne Menschen befremdlich oder sogar abstoßend, so wird zum Beispiel direkt am Anfang ein kleines Mädchen als Opfergabe gevierteilt - aber dieser Blick in eine uns völlig fremde Zeit ist auch sehr faszinierend.Der Schreibstil hat mir sehr gut gefallen, er ist bildlich und atmosphärisch und vermittelt wunderbar die einzigartige Mythologie dieser Welt.Fazit:In meinen Augen bringt Ilka Tampke frischen Wind in die Fantasy, und das mit einer Geschichte, die vor fast 2.000 Jahren in unserer realen Welt spielt. Eine komplexe Mythologie, eine zwiespältige junge Heldin, ein lebendiger Schreibstil... Zusammen ergibt das eine spannende, zutiefst originelle Mischung, die mich nicht mehr losgelassen hat - obwohl es mir die Protagonistin nicht immer leicht machte und auch die Liebesgeschichte mich nicht vollends überzeugen konnte.

  • ALPHAreader
    2019-03-09 01:14

    ‘Skin’ is the debut historical fiction/fantasy novel from Australian author (and member of my wonderful writer’s group) Ilka Tampke.The book is set in AD 43 (Iron Age Britain), and our narrator is ‘skinless’ Ailia of Cad who was found by Cookmother on the doorstep of the Tribequeen. She is raised in the kitchens, and taught the art of healing by Cookmother, but still Ailia longs for what she cannot have and will not be without skin – a journeywoman. Born to the skinless, or lost to their families before naming, the unskinned were not claimed by a totem. Their souls were fragmented, unbound to the Singing. If they remained little seen, they were not despised, not usually harmed. The townspeople gave them enough grain, cloaks and work, if they would do it. But they could not live within the town walls because no one could be sure of who they were. I quickened my pace and Neha trotted beside me. Skin was gifted from mother to child by a song. I had no mother. I had no skin. But I had been spared. Just.When she is of age at Beltane, Ailia meets the warrior Ruther who affectionately calls her ‘Daughter of the Doorstep’ and may wish to make her kin. She also meets the mysterious Taliesin one day by the river, not sure if he is bard or magician. And when Ailia starts exhibiting powers the skinless should not possess, her life seems destined for greater things ... 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;The journeymen and women started to sing down the songs of our tribe in powerful harmony. I could sense the expectation in the gathering, the pulsing of hearts and the coursing of blood. This ritual was part of our story, part of our truth, but the terribleness of it was never forgotten.From there I could barely pull myself away from the book and Ailia’s journey.Tampke transports readers to an incredible moment in history, to Iron Age Britain when ‘the tendrils of Roman ways had touched Caer Cad’ and Emperor Claudius’s Roman army are preparing to invade. It is a time of druids and tribelands, a reach back into a very real time that Tampke recreates so viscerally with language and these characters.Isobelle Carmody provides an endorsement quote for the book, which is so fitting because I would recommend ‘Skin’ to anyone who enjoys the ‘Obernewtyn Chronicles’ – for both author’s rich language and world-building, but especially the incredible journeys of their female heroes. While reading I also thought of Margo Lanagan’s short stories and dark fantasy tales, and Melina Marchetta’s ‘Lumatere Chronicles’ fantasy series. Because there is a touch of magic woven throughout ‘Skin’, which works seamlessly with the mystery of the Iron Age – Ailia’s unexpected powers, Taliesin’s mysticism and transformation – and always, the ‘journeypeople’ druids, their religion and sacrificial ways. Indeed, while ‘Skin’ is an adult novel, I found that there’s a lot here young adult readers will love too. There is romance and brutality, but it’s nothing young readers haven’t read before or will be shocked by in the context of history and fantasy.I loved this book, and our hero Ailia. Tampke carries readers to a most remarkable time of the Iron Age – when druids were revered and the tribal lands of Britain were about to be changed forever, when Skin was everything and magic seemed inevitable. Ilka Tampke's book is already creating buzz in Australia and overseas, and for good reason - we’ve just welcomed a remarkable new voice in Australian literature, and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next.

  • Mietze's
    2019-03-20 00:05

    Die Waise Ailia hat es in ihrem Stamm nicht leicht. Als Findelkind ist sie nach den Stammesgesetzen eine Halbgeborene ohne Haut und damit ohne ein Stammeslied. Eine große Schmach, steht die Haut doch für den Glauben des Stammes, ihre Vorfahren und ihr Heimatland.Die Zeichen stehen schlecht in diesen Tagen, denn die Römer stehen praktisch schon vor der Tür um sich die letzten freien Völker Britanniens einzuverleiben.Das Reich zittert, denn noch immer hat sich die Kendra, die Hüterin alles Wissens, noch nicht zu erkennen gegeben, dem Volk fehlt eine spirituelle Führung im Krieg gegen die Römer.Die junge Ailia hat derweil ganz andere Probleme, bleibt ihr als Hautlose doch nicht nur allerlei Wissen sondern auch ihre wahre Liebe verwehrt. Was mag das Leben für sie bereithalten? Folgt ihr auf ihrem Weg in eine ungewisse und geheimnisvolle Zukunft.Dieses Buch spaltet momentan die Bloggerwelt. Und ich kann das durchaus verstehen, das Buch ist nicht unbedingt leichte Kost.Zum einen durch die Zeit in der es spielt, ca. 45 nach Chr. ist das Leben nun einmal nicht einfach.Die Sachen werden ausgesprochen wie sie sind, die Leute sind pragmatisch und ehrlich. Da fallen schon mal Worte und gibt es Situationen die den ein oder anderen durchaus ein wenig ekeln können.Für mich war das kein Problem weil ich es einfach den zeitlichen Begebenheiten zugeschrieben habe.Zum anderen ist die Geschichte selbst nicht einfach zu verstehen.Es geht viel um Stammesriten, Magie die auf Glauben basiert und Vertrauen in die Macht der Haut.Ich habe bereits Bücher gelesen in denen diese Art von druidischer Magie eine Rolle gespielt hat, so das mir einige Dinge wie die Geas z.B. bereits bekannt waren.Das ganze bekommt durch den besonderen Schreibstil der Autorin einen speziellen sphärischen und fast stellenweise psychedelischen Hauch der einen vollkommen in seinen Bann zieht oder komplett abschreckt.Man muss sich auf die stellenweise verworrenen Ereignisse im Diesseits und auf der Seite der göttlichen Mütter einlassen um den Zusammenhang erkennen zu können. Oft bemerkt man erst im Nachhinein wie die Dinge zusammenhängen. Das hat für mich einen besonderen Reiz ausgemacht, das Buch hat bei mir irgendwie einen Nerv getroffen und ich konnte es beinahe nicht aus der Hand legen.Ailia als Charakter mochte ich ganz gerne, sie ist nicht unbedingt ein einfacher Mensch, aber ich konnte ihr Verhalten recht gut verstehen - wenn auch nicht alle ihre Handlungen. Ich bin ihr auf jeden Fall gerne auf ihrer Reise gefolgt die mich am Ende durch eine unerwartete Wendung doch leicht geschockt hat und mich auf einen weiteren Band hoffen lässt.Sicherlich kein Buch für Jedermann. Das Buch hat eine ganz spezielle, teilweise ein wenig verworrene und tranceartige Magie die einen in ihren Bann zieht und einen zusammen mit Ailia in die magischen Welten der Stammesmagie und der Welt der Mütter eintauchen lässt.Für mich ein Buch das ich so in dieser Art und Weise noch nie gelesen habe und so auch nicht erwartet hätte. Mein Überraschungs-Highlight des Jahres bisher und ich glaube nicht, dass da was den Überraschungsfaktor angeht, noch ein Buch mithalten kann.Ich glaube man liebt es oder hasst es.*ReziexemplarSchaut vorbei: http://cat-buecher-welt.blogspot.de/2...

  • Claire
    2019-03-09 22:31

    This book is 60% kick ass, 10% frustrating, 5% oversexed, 25% omfgggggggg ahhhhh amazing

  • Bookdragon Sean
    2019-03-10 01:18

    This sounds very good!I won it as a giveaway. I shall review the book when I’ve received it and read it.

  • Bookeater.dk Bookeater.dk
    2019-02-27 18:10

    Anmeldt af Josephine NV på bookeater.dk:(http://www.bookeater.dk/vbforum/histo...)ilia vokser op som hittebarn. Men endnu værre hun er uden skind og hele verden er bygget på skind. Uden skind vil hun altid være halv. Altid være udstødt, selv om hun er inde. Viden og kærlighedNogle siger, det er det samme.Det man virkelig kender, vil man også elske. - side 264I år 43 i Sommer (England) er Stammedronning Fraid hersker og fred har varet længe. Man ærer Mødrene med sine sange. Man har skind. Og ritualer som skal opretholde verdens orden. Verden som Ailia kender den. Hun respekterer reglerne og lider under manglen på skind. Når et menneske fødes får hun sin mors skind, et totemdyr, men i en sang. Sangen fortæller om skindets historie i relation til ens familie og en selv. Uden det er man ikke et helt menneske fordi man aldrig kan komme i kontakt med sin historie eller med Mødrene. Skindsangen er inden i os.Den er det bånd, der fører os tilbage til Mødrene. - side 124Men år 43 er forandringernes tid. Ruther kom hjem til Stammen med foruroligende nyheder fra Rom: De gør klar til invasion. Så når man er 15, bliver forelsket i fyren fra floden og begynder at se mærkelige ting i ske, føle et mærkelig træk i sin krop, må man bare lytte til hvad Mødrene synger. Også selv om man intet skind har. Sangene er Mødrenes verden, skabelsen alting.Når det er skabt, er verden fast. - side 88---------Jeg vidste meget lidt om denne bog, men at der var to fyre og en pige. Så jeg var helt med på et ungt trekantsdrama. Og hvad fik jeg? Ikke noget der minder om trekantsdrama. Og meget lidt af det var ungdomsproblemer. Som den nysgerrige læser blev jeg suget ind i bogen og mine tanker kræsede om den. For første gang i lang tid blev jeg nødt til at stoppe mig selv og ligge bogen, fordi ellers havde jeg ikke fået alt med. Og man vil gerne have alt med.Bogen ha et dybt niveau om hvordan man ser på verden. Det verdenssyn som Ilka Tampke prøver at formidle, går klart igennem og det handler om accept, tillid og respekt. Det er på ingen måde nogen moralprædiken, men den tro hun har skabt for engelske druider, hvor Mødrene er i centrum, men det er ikke det eneste. Jeg kan ikke helt forklare det, hvorfor du skal læse bogen. Hele troen omkring skind, sange og respekt er så spændende og veltænkt man bare selv bliver nødt til at samle bogen op.Alt hvad Ailia gennemgår for at blive voksen, er hjerteskærende, smukt og virkeligt en rejse gennem et møde med et nyt verdensyn. Det er spændende, fordi sproget er moderne, selv om det foregår i år 43. Ailia kunne have været ung i dag, hun havde nok bare haft sko. Men fordi ritualerne og troen er så veldrejet, bliver det historiske i romanen troværdigt og dermed foregår det ikke i dag. Jeg er lidt høj på den her bog. Måske kan det mærkes. Jeg føler der er ting jeg ikke har forstået, fordi jeg læste den for hurtigt. Og derfor bliver jeg nødt til at læse den igen. Knapt 400 sider som flyver forbi en. Ailia er din laks som følger leder dig ind i denne verden. Som vi mistede. Og når den slutter ... så vil du sidde med ondt i hjertet og en smule forpustet.

  • Emma
    2019-03-19 20:28

    Before I begin the main review of the book can we all take a minute to marvel in the beauty of this cover! When I saw this on NetGalley it was the cover that originally drew me in, I personally think it’s absolutely gorgeous and I might even have to purchase myself a copy to keep on my shelf.Firstly let me say that historical fiction is not normally my first choice of genre, although I have read a few fantastic historical fiction novels over the years. There was just something about Skin that pulled me in and I have to say I am so glad I was given this copy to review as I thoroughly enjoyed this book.The novel is set in the hilltown of Caer Cad in South West England during the Iron Age and this is where we meet Ailia the book’s central character, then 14 she is working in the tribesqueen’s kitchen where she lives and works under the watchful eye of cookmother, the woman who took her in as one of her own when she was found abandoned on the doorstep as baby.As a foundling, or one without skin Ailia is unable to participate in learning or many of the rituals beloved by her townspeople, she will never have the opportunity to marry or to be an journeywoman initiate which she truly desires. She is however trained to a high skill in plant craft by cookmother and is often found giving a helping and healing hand alongside her at various gatherings and celebrations.I found Ailia’s longing to be such a powerful draw in this book, I kept reading in the hope that somewhere there would be a loophole that regardless of her lack of skin totem she might just be able to find a way to gain the knowledge she had long dreamed of. The knowledge is granted by the Mothers who rule the lands of Albion and are fiercely revered by all those who are skinned, they are looked to by the journeymen and journeywomen for all answers, yet without skin you are not permitted to journey to the Mother’s to gain knowledge.This is the debut novel from Ilke Tampke and I will say that I am going to be one of the first in line for her follow up novel to Skin as I found this book so compelling. The way the story flowed from hurt to hope to heartache to tragedy and back again was wonderful. I can imagine that the prose like writing in certain sections of this novel might be a bit too much for some readers but strangely for me I thoroughly enjoyed this element of her writing, I felt it brought the fantasy elements of the novel to the fore a little more rather than this purely being historical fiction.I found the conflicts within this book enjoyable in the sense that I was never quite sure of the resolution, especially concerning Ailia and the ever forceful Ruther. He who is convinced of the wonder of Rome after seeing it for himself while journeying, is at odds with Ailia who is in awe and in love with her homeland and with the Mothers that rule it, regardless of her lack of skin. I found their powerful bond intriguing and I was never sure as to quite how it was going to end between them, or who truly held the power between them. As much as I loved beauty and wonder of Taliesin and Ailia’s connection, it was her bond with Ruther than had me drawn in and holding out to know what was next for these two powerful personalities that seemed both poles apart yet drawn together.The novel is based in what is now Somerset and it’s surrounding area and I remember as a teenager visiting some of the Iron Age places near where the story would have originally been based so I think this helped to bring the picture of the land of Albion alive in my mind as I was following Ailia’s journey.I found the way the places were described through this book to be very vivid and even though they were fictional I could see them very clearly in my mind and to me that is a sign of a great writer. I especially enjoyed the ceremonies that are explained such as Beltane, to me it showed the research that must have gone into these novels to learn of the Druid’s ceremonies that this book was in part based on.A beautifully written debut that had me hooked from the beginning, a tale of hope, knowledge, skin, longing, power and most of all love. Please keep writing Ilka, I for one am looking forward to your second installment of Ailia’s story.

  • Lynn Williams
    2019-03-20 19:16

    https://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2015...Just finished reading Skin by Ilka Tampke which is a very unusual and intriguing book.The story gets off to an immediate and rather gory start – so be warned on that front. Set in Iron Age Britain around AD 43. Britain is poised on the brink of Roman invasion and in the village of Caer Cad the locals look to their ancient rituals in order to guide them.The people of this age were superstitious, they lived by ritual and believed in the sacred laws of nature. They are governed by laws of skin whereby a mother passes her skin down to her children (not literally you understand!). The skin to which a person is born rules their future, enables them to learn and to marry and pass on their stories to future generations. The main character, Ailia, was abandoned at birth and therefore her skin is unknown. As such she lives outside of the tribe – she cannot marry or learn, not even to swim. Fortunately she was taken under the wing of the Cookmother and serves the Tribesqueen and she has already been fortunate enough to survive the clutches of death twice for it seems that the ancient Mothers may have use for her.I don’t want to give away too much about the plot as to be honest the plot isn’t the strongest part of the story. Not that it’s weak, just it’s not the show stealer. For me, the writing and the descriptions of life are what chiefly make this novel so captivating. It’s fairly light on fantasy (at the moment at least) and I would say that the more fantastical elements of the story revolve around the druids of the time, the use of herbs and knowledge of the land.As I said above the story gets off to a fascinating, if slightly gory start. The descriptions of village life, what they eat, how they live and the rituals they undertake were really captivating and all written in a simple and lovely style. I haven’t the first notion as to whether this is historically correct or bears any semblance of real lifestyles during that period but it certainly reads like a well researched and creative account of the time and I found it just hooked me completely.The main character is Ailia. We are introduced to her in her early years and given a quick account that brings us up to date when she’s approximately 14 years old. Ailia, in spite of her poor start in life has led a relatively sheltered life under the protection of the Tribesqueen however she feels greatly the lack of her own knowledge and in fact she can’t even be taught to swim. Ailia is headstrong however, she has the gift of healing and has caught the eye of the ancient mothers – she longs to be a journeywoman but her lack of skin prohibits this. I liked Ailia although I confess she doesn’t always make the wisest choices – given her age I guess you could forgive her a little in that respect as she is only very young by our standards when she is given such a large burden to bear. She’s going to go down paths that should not be open to her and whether or not this will work out well remains in the balance.We have a number of other characters. Heka, a bitter woman who plagues the life out of Ailia relentlessly. Ruther – who would take her for his wife and cares not for her lack of skin and then we have the mysterious Taliesin who catches the eye and heart of Ailia.This is a very entertaining read with secrets waiting to be revealed and plot twists that I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed seeing the strong roles that the women of the age played and I thought watching these tribespeople as they stand on the brink of change made for compelling reading.In terms of criticisms – nothing really to bring the book down. I thought the start of the book was probably the strongest part of the novel although it ends on a good note with the prospect of more good reading to come.I received a copy of Skin from the Publishers through Netgalley for which my thanks. The above is my own opinion.

  • Tintenwelten
    2019-03-24 00:05

    Ailia lebt in Britannien zu einer Zeit, in der die Römer ihr Reich immer weiter ausdehnen. Auch ihr Stamm wird von der Großmacht bedroht und sie allein kann die Rettung bringen. Weil sie jedoch nicht weiß, woher sie kommt oder wer ihre Eltern sind, trägt sie keine Haut. Diese steht für die Zugehörigkeit zu einem bestimmten Totemtier und damit für Glauben, Vorfahren und Heimatland. Sie hat also keinen Clan, zu dem sie gehört und ist damit eine Außenseiterin. Ohne Haut ist es ihr nicht erlaubt zu lernen, zu heiraten und ist generell ein Teil der unteren Gesellschaftsschicht. Als Baby wurde sie auf der Schwelle einer Köchin ausgesetzt, die Ailia aufgenommen hat und sie vor einem Leben in Armut bewahrt hat, welches Hautlosen meist bevorsteht.Die Autorin verwebt Orte, die tatsächlich existiert haben, und Ereignisse, die historisch belegt sind, mit dem Glauben der Stammesleute, welcher voller Magie und Mystik ist. Es ist eine fremde Kultur, ein interessanter Glaube, der allerdings sehr grausame und befremdliche Rituale beinhaltet. Die sogenannten "Mütter" sind die Göttinnen des Glaubens, sie halten das Land und die Menschen zusammen und leben in einer Art Zwischenwelt. Allein den "Gereisten" ist es erlaubt von der realen Welt in die Welt der Mütter zu reisen und von ihnen zu lernen.Die 14-jährige Ailia ist eine sehr wissbegierige junge Frau, die ständig hofft, neues zu erfahren und gegen die Engstirnigkeit der Stammesleute aufbegehrt. Auf der einen Seite ist sie klug und willensstark, doch auf der anderen Seite auch häufig egoistisch und gefühlskalt. Einige ihrer Verhaltensweisen sind nicht unbedingt nachvollziehbar, was sie manchmal weniger sympatisch erscheinen lässt. Sie ist außerdem voller Selbstzweifel, weil ihr dies ein Leben lang eingetrichtert wurde. Selbst als klar wird, dass sie von den Müttern bevorzugt wird, kann sie sich von den bestehenden Gesetzen der Haut nicht völlig lösen.Das Buch beinhaltet natürlich auch eine Liebesgeschichte. Obwohl Ailia erst 14 Jahre alt ist, gilt sie für den Stamm bereits als erwachsen und wird auch sexuell aktiv. Diese Liebesszenen haben jedoch nicht unbedingt tatsächlich mit Liebe, sondern eher mit Lust oder auch Berechnung zu tun. Sie trifft im Verlauf des Buches auf Talisien, den sie liebt und der ihr zeigt, was wirklich in ihr steckten könnte. Leider konnte mich die Verbindung der beiden nicht vollends überzeugen. Für mich ist der Funke einfach nicht übergesprungen.Das Buch ist ungewöhnlich, teilweise sehr brutal und auch abstoßend. Einige Szenen wirken recht befremdlich. Es spiegelt jedoch die beschriebene Zeit der Römerinvasion gut wieder. In der Geschichte treffen die fortschrittlichen Römer auf die eher rückständigen und mit dem Land und Glauben verbundenen Stammesleute. Beide haben eine komplett unterschiedliche Mentalität und Glaubensart und gehen mit allem ganz anders um. Da sind Konflikte vorprogrammiert.Die Kombination aus historischen Fakten und Fantasy-Elementen ist sehr reizvoll und die Story etwas ganz neues. Die Autorin besticht durch einen lockeren und leichten Schreibstil, der sich aber dennoch glaubwürdig in die Zeit von 28 n. Chr. Bis 46 n. Chr. einfügt.Es ist eine von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite fesselnde Geschichte über das Schicksal von Ailia und ihrem Stamm. Das Ende ist sehr spannend und aufwühlend und lässt auf einen oder mehrere weitere Teile hoffen.

  • Emma Darcy
    2019-03-19 22:19

    *3.5 starsI can't say that I loved it, but I also read it obsessively for two days. The ending is brutal and will make you bitter. You will have so many feelings. One of them will be rage probably.

  • Mieneke
    2019-03-06 19:16

    When I first learned about Ilka Tampke’s Skin, I immediately knew I wanted to read it as it hits so many of my sweet spots, fantasy combined with historical fiction set in Celtic Britain. Not to mention that Tampke at some point mixes in just a hint of the Arthurian legend that is still in the far future in this book. When I finally managed to snag a copy of the paperback last summer, I just started the first page over coffee at Foyles and I was hooked. I read the book over the course of my Nine Worlds weekend, between panels and socialising.I loved Ailia’s story of becoming. This story is not about Ailia finding herself or her voice, because even when we meet her at the beginning of the book, she is a strong, assured character, only held back by the fact that she has no skin, no totem to bind her soul. No, Skin is about Ailia becoming who she was meant to be, growing into her role and creating her place in her society.Skin is also very female-centric. Yes, men are in the book and they drive events in it, but they do not drive the narrative and the women in the book are all about their own agency. No man tells them what to do. From Ailia’s foster mother Cookmother, to the Tribequeen Fraid, to her hearth sisters Bebin, Ianna, and Cah, to the awful Heka… each chooses her own way within the bounds of tribal customs. In this way it reminded me somewhat of the Mists of Avalon, which was centred on the female characters of the Arthurian cycle and also featured the struggle between the old ways and the new (Christian) traditions that were slowly taking over the land.Despite the fact that the book is so female-centric, or perhaps because of it, Skin also has some fantastic male characters. Ailia falls in love with Taliesin, the mysterious young man she meets in the nearby forest, but she is also bound to the boisterous and somewhat unsympathetic Ruther, who seems to genuinely care for Ailia. I loved the tension between the two relationships, with Ailia having to choose between her heart and her head: each man offering her different options and fulfilment.Skin is an amazing story and Ailia an amazing protagonist. I fell in love with her world and Tampke’s writing. Even if fantasy isn’t usually your thing, but you like historical fiction, you should definitely give Skin a chance because it is a unique story and a gorgeous portrayal of Celtic Britain. Skin is one of my favourite reads this year.

  • Letanna
    2019-03-14 23:05

    Die 14-jährige Ailia hat keine Tierhaut und gilt damit in ihrem Dorf als Außenseiterin. Denn alle in Caer Cad haben eine Tierhaut. Ailia wird somit der Zugang zu vielen Dingen verwehrt und sie arbeitet als einfache Dienerin für die Königin. Trotzdem scheint der Krieger Ruther sich für sie zu interessieren. Im Laufer der Zeit offenbart sich aber ein völlig anderes Schicksal für Ailia, sie scheint zur Kendra zu werden, einer großen Wissenshüterin und das obwohl sie keine Haut trägt. Für viele in ihrem Stamm ein Ding der Unmöglichkeit und Ailia muss erst einmal um ihre Position kämpfen.Bei dem Buch handelt es sich um den Debütroman der Autorin Ilka Tampe, das mich sehr überrascht hat. Anfangs war ich von der Brutalität und Schonungslosigkeit der Story etwas geschockt, aber je länger ich gelesen habe, um so besser hat es mir gefallen. Die Autorin entführt uns nach Britannien ins Jahr 43 n. Chr. in das Dorf Caer Cad. Obwohl die Geschichte selbst frei erfunden ist, scheint es die Gegend tatsächlich einmal gegeben zu haben, was ich sehr interessant fand. Die Autorin mischt hier historische Fakten mit einer sehr ungewöhnlichen fantastischen Geschichte. was ich sehr gelungen fand. Erzählt wird die Handlung aus der Sicht der 14-jährigen Ailia. Obwohl die Hauptfigur so jung ist, würde ich das Buch aber nicht in den Bereich young adult einordnen, dafür ist es teilweise etwas zu brutal. Ailia benimmt sie auch gar nicht wie eine 14-jährige, sie ist viel reifer und erwachsener. Aufgewachsen als Außenseiterin, verändert sich ihr Leben im Laufe der Handlung sehr und plötzlich ist sie etwas ganz Besonderes. Der Wandel verlief eher langsam, was aber sehr gut zur Geschichte passt. Der Glaube ihres Stammes spielt eine sehr wichtige Rolle und die Rolle von Ailia in dem ganzen. Auch die Liebe spielt eine wichtige Rolle und Ailia muss schwere Entscheidungen treffen.Das Ende fand ich recht offen. Zwar könnte es sich hier um einen Einteiler handelt, aber Raum für eine Fortsetzung gibt es auf jeden Fall. Von mir bekommt dieses ungewöhnliche Buch 9 von 10 Punkte.

  • Lara (Bookishsolace)
    2019-02-21 00:29

    Skin is set in Britain, and specifically in Summer (Somerset) between AD 28 and AD 43 in a matriarchy. Iron-Age Britain, a Druid culture, and the might of Rome preparing for invasion. Ailia has no Skin (in a metaphorical way. Skin is the totem tribal connection.her journey to find `Skin' and its meaning is satisfyingly archetypal) . She doesn't know who her parents were, and so she cannot learn or do anything in society. Like any other untutored woman, she just wants to learn more of the world. She’s a total outsider and part of the book’s journey is to find her complex destiny which is given to her by The Mothers, the mysterious guardians of her people.Pre-Roman Britain with its hill forts and druids, is very fascinating to me, so to speculate what such an ancient culture may have actually been like, is totally amazing. I’m not certain how much her very detailed and fascinating weaving of Druid culture and ideology is real or imagined (the clearly is some Australian and Native American Indian culture woven in), but it was absolutely amazing to read and totally satisfying. While “Skin” has a lot of darkness in it, it also has beautiful descriptions about sacred learning and romance. What makes the book so special however, is that it’s based on a real place - the hill fort of Caer Cad stands on the present-day Cadbury Castle in Somerset, these days no more than a grassy hill surrounded by banks and ditches.I was totally blown away by this book because of its fabulous uniqueness and I can particularly recommend it to those who love adventure stories which feel real. I got so caught up in the story I swept through it, turning pages fast, caught up in the story and turned the pages fast. I love the complexity of the characters and the relationships and her ancient society was absolutely believable.

  • Julia Tulloh Harper
    2019-02-27 19:32

    I loved this story! I literally could not put it down. It follows Ailia, a young person living with a tribe in Iron Age Britain as they prepare for the Roman invasion. The tribe's greatest concern is that the Romans will destroy their system of knowledge - a skin/totem system - given to them by the Mothers, the mystical beings who created and now sustain the land and their lives. But Ailia is an orphan and so never received a skin, and as such she can't do anything - learn, swim, properly participate in rites or ceremonies, marry. Of course though she displays a profound wisdom nonetheless and is soon marked by the local journeyman (druid) for greater things...The writing style was gorgeous. Felt a bit overwritten at first but it was so evocative - particularly of the landscape, including the river, the pools, the fish, the forest - that I didn't even care. Tampke had clearly researched the time period too, and there was heaps of detail around herb lore, healing, and even the houses the people lived in. I loved the magical realism stuff too - it was so mystical and eerie and alluring and evoked the complexity of the belief system. It was also brutal and shocking at times.I also loved that the Mothers weren't necessarily literal mothers - often stories set at this time that focus on matriarchy focus on mothers as childbearing, with WOMBS! These Mothers were fighters, and sword-forgers, and shapeshifters, and singers, and had links to the world of the dead...it was a much broader conception of the sacred feminine than I have read about elsewhere. I liked it. Sometimes the story felt bit too obviously signposted - Ailia in her first person narrative reminds readers at every opportunity that she has no skin, and sometimes it was a bit repetitive. Otherwise I loved this, and I think there'll be sequels, which I'm super excited about.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-13 20:26

    Historical fiction with fantasy elements is not my usual reading fare, but this debut novel from Ilka Tampke turned out to be enjoyable light reading. It is set in Southwest Britain in AD43, just as the Roman legions are about to invade, and its heroine is a feisty girl called Ailia.Ailia’s tribe, the people of Caer Cad, has a belief system based on ‘skin’. At birth girls are given their skin and sung into being. This entitles them to participate in ceremonies, and to learn the ancient knowledge of the tribal ancestors, the Mothers.But Ailia is a foundling, abandoned on the doorstep of the Cookmother, and although she is mysteriously privileged in some ways, she does not know her ‘skin’ and so she is not permitted to learn, to marry or to participate in the rituals of her people. Analogous to the restrictions on illegitimate children in times gone by, this lack of ‘skin’ is an implacable barrier to full participation in the life of the tribe. This is a tribe in which women have power and authority, a tribe with a female leader called Fraid, but Ailia who is a natural leader herself, is denied it all.To read the rest of my review, please visit http://anzlitlovers.com/2015/02/25/sk...

  • Martin Belcher
    2019-03-14 22:30

    I found myself utterly and completely enchanted by this book, it pulled me in to a wonderfully vivid world of Ancient Britain of AD43 just prior to the Roman invasion. Ailia is a young girl born without 'skin' not in the conventional sense but meaning without mother, without passing on skin gifted by song from mother to child. Ailia is left outside a village hut, abandoned as a child, unwanted, unloved but with a strong sense of purpose, she lives out her childhood in the village of Caer Cad, serving the cookmother and tribal queen unaware of her destiny. A seemingly uneventful trip outside the village to collect herbs sees Ailia meet a mysterious man called Taliesin who teaches her more about her destiny..a Kendra, a powerful Druidess. Meanwhile the Roman legions arrive on the coast of Britain vanquishing all tribes that lay before them. Can Ailia discover and win her 'skin' and become something more powerful and help her tribe defeat the Romans? I completely fell in love with this book, a beautifully written and powerful story rooted in a clever mix of historic fact, legend and mystery. Wonderfully descriptive and page turning. Highly recommended. It reminded me a little of Jean M Auel's Clan of the cave bear series. I can't wait for a next book - fingers crossed!

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-16 19:06

    When I first picked up this book I thought it sounded intriguing yet I was not overly excited. In fact, I put it down but a few days later came back to it when looking for my next book to read. So glad I picked up this book. I read it in one day. This time I actually have to agree that the reference to Khaleesi is a good reference. Albion is a dynamic woman. The special abilities that she possess is cool. Although at this point I have not felt any strong feelings towards the two male interests. Hopefully this will change in the sequel. Also I just have to say that I will be watching the fish next time I go swimming in a lake. Anyone who likes paranormal, historical fiction, strong female heroines, or just looking for a new author to read you have to pick up a copy of this book as you will get lost in the story. Which for me turned into a quick read.