Recipient of the Independent Publishers Award for Historical Fiction (Gold Medal), the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Historical Fiction (Bronze Medal), and an honorable mention in the category of General Fiction for the Eric Hoffer Award.
Luis de Santngel, chancellor to the court and longtime friend of the lusty King Ferdinand, has had enough of the Spanish Inquisition. As the power of Inquisitor General Toms de Torquemada grows, so does the brutality of the Spanish church and the suspicion and paranoia it inspires. When a dear friend’s demise brings the violence close to home, Santngel is enraged and takes retribution into his own hands. But he is from a family of conversos, and his Jewish heritage makes him an easy target. As Santngel witnesses the horrific persecution of his loved ones, he begins slowly to reconnect with the Jewish faith his family left behind. Feeding his curiosity about his past is his growing love for Judith Migdal, a clever and beautiful Jewish woman navigating the mounting tensions in Granada. While he struggles to decide what his reputation is worth and what he can sacrifice, one man offers him a chance he thought he’d lost…the chance to hope for a better world. Christopher Columbus has plans to discover a route to paradise, and only Luis de Santngel can help him.
Within the dramatic story lies a subtle, insightful examination of the crisis of faith at the heart of the Spanish Inquisition. Irresolvable conflict rages within the conversos in By Fire, By Water, torn between the religion they left behind and the conversion meant to ensure their safety. In this story of love, God, faith, and torture, fifteenth-century Spain comes to dazzling, engrossing life.
©2010 Mitchell James Kaplan (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I've tried to finish this book but the reading makes it dull. The readers my is not smooth and conversational. I want a storyteller to enthrall me with a tale. Bit this reader is more like a nervous amateur reader.
I've bought the book on kindle and will read it myself.
Spain, particularly Andalusia, was a maelstrom of religious, political and sociological upheaval in the late fifteenth and early 16th century. Mitchell James Kaplan’s By Fire, By Water is a superb literary excursion into that time and place. Engagingly written, and deeply researched, Kaplan convincingly transports the reader to the sights, sounds, and smells of Spain, to the desperate conflicts of religion and politics, and to a convincing set of relationships among a wide cast of characters, both real and imagined.
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