The year is AD 43, Celtic Britain. For the Caer Cad, ‘skin’ name determines lineage and identity. Ailia was left on a doorstep and has no skin. She feels as though she doesn’t belong; despite her intelligence and bravery, she is an outcast. Having read the plot, it didn’t seem like my cup of tea as I rarely venture to the past, I’m just not one for historical novels. However, I became fully engrossed in the world Tampke has created.
It almost felt like fantasy, there was action, love and the looming threat of the Romans. I had to remind myself that this world was real and in my own country. The author has beautifully weaved in folklore and legend but at its core, it is a coming of age story. Ailia is trying to discover herself without knowing her past, I was behind her all the way. She’s an inspiring heroine. You are taken back 2000 years and left wanting more. This is a book that truly took me by surprise.