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Several weeks ago, I posted the color sketch art of my cover, which is an Asian-themed fantasy.

Now, I'm trying to zero in on the mood. The story is somewhat dark, some have described it a cross between Kushiel's Dart and Shogun, following ninja-like characters posing as courtesans in a high-class red-light district. Target audience is probably women who like resilient, resourceful female characters, but don't mind betrayal and not-so-happy endings.

Which of these two covers works better for you? Clearly, the right has more contrast and detail, but I'm concerned it gives too much of an optimistic vibe.

 

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The cover on the right immediately catches my eye, no questions asked (beautiful artwork, btw). There is a brightness to it that could be construed as "optimistic," but her expression doesn't read that way. I wouldn't be upset or confused if it wasn't a happy-ish story based on the cover on the right.
 

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Oh, definitely the right. Everything blends together in the one on the left, whereas the detail and the glowing light on the right one make everything "pop" more. Nothing about that says "optimistic" to me, it simply catches the eye more and is more interesting. And gorgeous!
 
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