By Andrew Appleby

Born 1948 in Kent, Andrew Appleby became an independent wanderer from a very early age. The youngest of three brothers, he constantly lagged behind – and still does, even now, on a walk – finding clay in banks and around ponds, orsearching the ground for ancient artifacts. His natural tendency towards incendiary pursuits helped fire his meagre works from the age of seven, and at eleven he was smitten with the archaeology bug. This led to discovering a Neolithic site with quantities of prehistoric pottery… his yearning to make these pots was born.


Past Chair and Vice-Chair of the Orkney Archaeology Society, Andrew has seen Orkney’s archaeology scene blossom. He is currently President of the John Rae Society, honouring the Orcadian Arctic explorer. Besides pottery, archaeology and exploration, Andrew has a strong interest in gathering food and road kill. This has led to appearances in television programmes such as Scotland’s Larder.

Skara, with Shala and Oiwa, is the first novel in this series. It sets the scene for momentous movements in knowledge and political power in Orkney. But first, the Isles were suffering from inbreeding. These dangers have to be countered, hence the spiritual insights of Shala and Wrasse. From Skara Brae or Birsay, gazing west across the Atlantic, the next stop is unimaginably distant. This is from where the hero, Oiwa, travels. He has his reasons, as you will discover, and undergoes terrible yet wondrous adventures. Set in Neolithic Orkney, Skara brings heroine Shala and hero Oiwa together across the vast ocean to the west. Will this young man save the people of the Isles from dying out? 


This epic conveys the raw richness of people’s lives in Neolithic times through a compelling quest to secure for the people of the Isles new blood from over the ocean. As predicted by young Shala and the old sage, Wrasse, this seems increasingly so. Guided by her, the girl finds maturity and strength during a formidable journey through their Orkney, a very different place from today. 

Skara, Andrew Appleby’s debut novel in his Neolithic series, New Life for Orkney.


'quite remarkable… an enormous 'epic' fantasy/imagined history, which is extraordinarily coherent, detailed, accessible and plausible…'


'a classic 'quest hero' of mythic proportions who is also a believable (indeed lovable) character and 'ordinary' human being…' - Hi-Arts



Additional Information:

Published 2015 (Burgess Press)

187.000 words - 587 Pages - Paperback

World Rights Available (incl. World English)