Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero.
But now he’s dead. Or is he?
After the ferocious battle in War of Chaos, Stig and Meg pursue the evil Anet through a swirling interdimensional rift—and straight into new trouble.On the other side of this portal, the two Manna find themselves in a world of giants and strange, ominous technology—a world that seems as obsessed with greed and gold as Anet herself. They’ve pursued their enemy to her homeland, a country known as England. Alone and hunted by a terrifying flying machine, Stig and Meg find allies in the unlikeliest places, and they come to realize other Manna have made this trip between worlds before. When their frantic search leads them to a golden temple hidden deep beneath the earth, Stig learns that fate ties him to this mysterious shrine. Unfortunately, the two Manna have bigger things to worry about. Anet knows Stig and Meg are in England, and she’s using all her resources to hunt them down. Stig’s ability to devise disastrous plans isn’t helping matters, but the Manna can’t afford to give up now. Anet is breeding new creatures to unleash on Chelldrah-ham, and it’s starting to look as if the Manna simply can’t stop her this time.
Mind teasing, fantasy adventure for younger readers, Belas Rift: The Hidden City of Chelldrah-ham proves a wonderfully imaginative read with Stephan von Clinkerhoffen bringing both vision and viewpoint to the children’s science fiction and fantasy genres. With likeable characters, superb world building, and plenty of forward momentum the storyline is complex enough to hold the attention of older readers too, whilst in terms of sheer inventiveness his prose and illustrations have a majestic resonance which proves quite mesmerising. From the beginning you know you are in the hands of a confident storyteller but more importantly one who wholly understands his audience. The theme of an alternative dimension is often clichéd in science fiction fantasy but here it is developed in unexpected and poignant ways, drawing on real life geography and settings but remaining fresh and eccentric enough that everything Clinkerhoffen feeds us feels authentic and original. These alone are reasons to read The Hidden City of Chelldrah-ham but ultimately it’s Stig and Meg who elevate his story above its peers. They fit cosily into the narrative from the very start and yet they’re still allowed to grow as their adventures tap into our wildest childhood dreams and imaginings.
An absolute gem of a Science Fiction & Fantasy novel for young readers
with an epic feel, Belas Rift: The Hidden City of Chelldrah-ham
is recommended without reservation.
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Stephan von Clinkerhoffen grew up close to the English Cotswolds, surrounded by nature and the region’s rich history. An engineer for twenty-five years, he spent ten years in the British aerospace industry.
Von Clinkerhoffen’s career influenced many of the inventions found in the Chelldrah-ham series, as did his time in New Zealand, where he served as a humanitarian volunteer in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.
An artist for the last thirty years, von Clinkerhoffen has returned to England, where he rediscovered his love of local history—a love that permeates Belas Rift. He has received praise and numerous awards for his writing from Kirkus Reviews, Readers’ Favorite, and ForeWord Clarion.
“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”
― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings