Ok read this a long time ago and have forgotten the title/ author. Set in an ice world, people skate around, there are tribes of outcasts called 'cutters' who can transform people's appearance. The main character has black hair, but with red hairs that come through as he gets older. His father was an unknown evil king or something with the same hair, his Mum would pluck the boys red hairs out so he wouldn't guess who his real father was. Thanks all!

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    Was the whole world ice or was there a region where skating on ice was the primary mode of transport? The latter rings a faint bell for me. – Todd Wilcox Jan 30 '18 at 18:07
  • Correct, it was just a region of a city where skating was the main transport mode to get around – aj rose Jan 30 '18 at 20:37
  • See OP confirmation comment for answer below. – Otis Feb 11 '18 at 13:35

Could it be Neverness by David Zindell?

It's ages since I read the book and I remember little about it, but there are artisans called Cutters who can change your appearance. The protagonist Mallory Ringess goes to a Cutter to have his appearance changed, though I confess I don't recall exactly why.

Mallory Ringess is the son of Soli and he does have red hairs that his mother plucks to conceal his parentage. I managed to find that scene in the book:

I remembered my mother plucking the supposedly ‘grey’ hairs from my head in the Devaki’s cave when she groomed me for lice, and the riddle of my heritage was no longer a riddle. She had plucked red hairs from my head, not grey. Red hairs, the hairs of the Soli lineage that sometimes do not appear until early manhood.

  • Yes that was it! Thankyou so much! Appreciate the help :) – aj rose Jan 31 '18 at 22:58
  • @ajrose if this is the correct answer please click on the tick symbol on the left of my answer. That marks the answer as accepted. – John Rennie Feb 1 '18 at 5:44

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