A Game of Sorrows by Shona (S.G.) MacLean

‘A Game of Sorrows’ is the 2nd novel in S.G. Maclean’s Alexander Seaton series. We were introduced to Seaton in ‘The Redemption of Alexander Seaton’.

It is now 1628. Seaton is living and teaching in Aberdeen and has finally gained enough trust from his masters to be sent to Europe to find recruits to study in Scotland. He is also ready to declare his love for Sarah.

But then his Irish cousin Sean arrives to seek his help. The family has been cursed by a poet and Seaton is the only person who can save the family. Reluctantly Seaton travels to Ireland to the family he has never met.

Seaton’s mother was disowned by her mother Maeve when she married a Scot. Maeve never forgave her (even though she herself married an Englishman). The prideful cantankerous Maeve is not happy to rely on Seaton and is certainly not happy to deal with a protestant.

In addition to dealing with the poet, Seaton has arrived at a time of conflict in Northern Ireland. The English planters have a mission to civilise the primitive Irish, but the Irish are rebelling. They want their own land, religion and customs. Unknown to Seaton, his Irish family are at the centre of the conflict.

Parts of the curse are already coming true. Seaton must deal with rebel priests, relatives that want him dead as well as the English and Scottish settlers. There are spies, corruption, murder and family secrets going back generations. Looking exactly like Sean does not always work in Seaton’s favour.

Seaton is left with a choice that could change his family and affect the whole of Northern Ireland. Having left his Scottish home in the dead of night, he is not sure if he will have his old life to return to.


This was a complex novel with a lot going on. It saddened me to see how far back the conflicts in Northern Ireland go.

There were some excellent characters in this novel and there is the potential for some of them to affect Seaton’s future.

I love Seaton in this novel and the way he was forced to question every aspect of his life.

I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the series – ‘Crucible of Secrets’.


Book Published 2010


See a full list of books by S.G. Maclean


Filed under Book Reviews, Historical, MacLean, S.G. (Shona), Series Fiction

2 Responses to A Game of Sorrows by Shona (S.G.) MacLean

  1. Pingback: S.G. (Shona) Maclean Profile and Books | Written Gems

  2. Pingback: The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by Shona (S.G.) MacLean | Written Gems

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