Review: Eric Arvin – The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men, 2nd Ed. (Valley Books #1)

Author: Eric Arvin
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Fantasy

Rating: ★★★★★ 


Minerva True is a River Dweller and mystic who lives deep in the forested hills of a river valley on the fringes of the world. She is the only person who sees the ancient danger that resides on a nearby chapel grounds. Most pay little heed to her warnings, and in the end only a small band of friends stand beside her. A tale of love and duty ensues, challenging the destinies of Minerva, the young hero Leith, his lover Aubrey, and the mute boy, Deverell. Leith’s half-crazed mother Calpurnia has her own aspirations, however, that prove detrimental not only to Minerva, but to everyone she comes in contact with.


If you’re looking for a simple m/m romance, forget it. This is not that story. This isn’t simple, or usual. It can’t even be described as an unusual story. It’s more of an epic adventure, a classic tale, and a work of art. It’s a shining example of word-crafting at its best, and it’s just too huge to begin to describe in detail.

There are some things that I can say about the story, but I refuse to try to describe what actually happens. It’s almost too much to wrap my brain around and I couldn’t do it justice. So, what I can say is that I really liked the author’s “voice”. Throughout the entire story, I felt as if a rich and soothing voice was telling me a tale, somewhat like I’d imagine Aesop would have unfolded his fables to a group gathered around a fire late at night.

I can also say that I enjoyed finding the kernels of wisdom tucked within the adventure, hidden like gems among various story boards. Some that I particularly liked:
What we believe… it becomes our reality. You got to believe in yourself and better things…

…impossibilities are for fools and the weak-minded.

…the spirituality of the valley was noninvasive, and they did not need structures to retain it.

The celebration of one’s own spiritual nature should be a personal thing.

Astonishment is laid in spades for the very young. Eyes will stay wide if cynicism is denied.

A faith not built on someone else’s philosophies, but on his own experiences.

It took me nearly fifty years to learn the life lessons that this author has expressed so eloquently. Amazing!

If you are looking for an impressive and detailed epic adventure, one that rivals grand stories like “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table” or the more recent, “Lord of the Rings”, this is the story for you. Take your time and savor it slowly. I found it rich in detail and scope and it stimulated my thinking about my own spiritual journey. I very highly recommend this to all.


Dreamspinner Press 

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on Facebook
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *