Verdict: Somewhat generic but well-designed, well-balanced and effective. Seems designed to appeal to romantic goths and fans of horror and supernatural fiction.
Verdict: Eye-catching but not well-balanced. Seems designed to appeal to fantasy fans.
Verdict: A cover that stands out. Seems designed to appeal to fans of paranormal fiction and alternative history literature.
The fourth and final cover exists in two variations - let’s call them 4a and 4b. Here we again have a black background, but it isn’t separated from the image by a frame like the black in the second cover and the purple in the third cover, which makes both versions look like one image with text rather than a background with an image and text. This makes for a more unified look. The uneven lettering suggests both a reflection in moving water and text seen through swirling smoke, thus subtly mirroring the title. The ornate but empty candelabrum seems to suggest the the contents might have to do with history or antiques, and also gives it a gothic flavour.
Cover 4a has a clean but disordered look, whereas 4b has some added elements to make it look not only disordered but scuffed and worn and goes better with the scuffed lettering. It also gives an illusion of the book being old and much read.
Verdict: Well-balanced and understated compared with the others. Seems designed to appeal to fans of historical fiction, gothic thrillers and even classics. 4b is my favourite.