Luis de Santángel is chancellor to King Fernando (Ferdinand) of Aragon but he is also a third generation Christian, converso, but when the Spanish Inquisition starts in full force it’s not safe to have Jewish connections. At the same time Luis grows curious about his Jewish heritage and starts to see theologian in secret but soon catches the eyes of inquisitor and soon finds out that he or his family isn’t safe. We also hear the story of Judith, a Jewish silversmith, who catches Luis’ eyes. Luis falls in love with her but is he willing to give up everything for her?I’m not very familiar with Spanish Inquisition or Jewish religion and the little I know about Inquisition comes from reading Katherine of Aragon’s childhood. It is not a pleasant subject giving the worst example of humanity but it’s fascinating in a horrible way.By Fire, By Water is certainly very thought provoking and well researched. While the books has lot of religious themes and has theological discussions it manages to not sound preachy.It’s not action packed but gives one man’s journey while trying to find who he is and remaining true to himself. The only minor problem I had was with the time. I wish it would have been stated better how much time had went on or mentioned on what year was going on. What a great debut from Kaplan! I truly enjoyed this and couldn’t put it down.Can’t wait to read more from this author!