Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

(audio) Book Thoughts: Zofloya, or the Moor (Charlotte Dacre)

This took me on a murderous ride

★★★★☆ 1/4 – CALSPIE 8.43

Title: Zofloya, or the Moor
Author: Charlotte Dacre
Narrator: Lucy Scott
Genre: Fiction / Classic / Gothic
First published: 1806
Edition: Audio & paperback, published by Oxford University Press in 2008

A tale of lust, betrayal, and multiple murder set in Venice in the last days of the fifteenth century. The novel follows Victoria’s progress from spoilt daughter of indulgent aristocrats to a career of deepening criminality conducted under Satan’s watchful eye.


Talk about unhinged women… I think Victoria, the leading lady in this gothic tale pretty much takes the biscuit.

An immensely unlikely main character, who ends up doing one dark deed after another… I don’t think I have read a classic with a female character quite like this. This book is a ride, especially for the time.

Then there is the character of Zofloya – I kind of liked his goading and his thinly veiled sarcasm and disdain. I thought he was superbly written.

I only wish there was a bit more of a sense of place in the story, especially whilst in Venice, but it was very much character driven. The point of view of Victoria’s brother Leonardo also seemed a bit superfluous to me. I did not really see the point, as it was only for such a short time.

Nonetheless, I thought this was a fun classic. Is this book over the top? Oh yes, absolutely! I kind of love it for its ridiculousness though.

I am kind of sad that none of the other stories that Charlotte Dacre wrote are in print, because I would have liked to read more by her.

4.25 out of 5 stars



  • Characters: 9
  • Ambience: 8
  • Language: 9
  • Story: 8.5
  • Pacing: 8
  • Interest: 8
  • Enjoyment: 8.5

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