I originally read and loved Franklin’s first novel The Poppet and the Lune. While The Hierophant doesn’t quite reach the same level of greatness as Poppet and the Lune did, it’s still a very solid, good novel on its own. The biggest strength of the novel is the worldbuilding and magic system. While there are issues with infodumping the details of the worlds the angels, demons and humans live in, it ends up being a very well thought out set up. The same goes for the magic system, though I have a feeling it’ll be expanded on in sequels as we get some very basic bones here. The bones are good, don’t get me wrong, but there’s definitely room for growth. Another aspect I enjoyed was Ana’s relationship with her best friend, Kyla. Ana’s built up a lot of walls since her mother died from brain cancer, and Kyla is exactly the right kind of person to beat them down as much as possible to stay close with her best friend. It’s rare to see such a moving portrayal of friendship between girls, so I appreciated seeing it here, although it does run into the problem of Kyla being one of the few women who does like Ana. The rest are apathetic or downright hostile, and get described in pretty unflattering ways by the narration. It wasn’t so awful, but it did catch my attention in a bad way and it’s something I hope is taken care of in future books. I wish I could say I liked Ana and Trebor’s relationship as much as I did Ana and Kyla’s, but honestly, not really. Trebor’s a good leading man, and he does actually respect Ana and treat her nicely, but at times I felt that for all of Ana’s claims she keeps people out, he actually had a pretty easy time moving past her walls. I couldn’t really find any reason why they liked each other as much as they did. They’re not a bad couple, just not one I don’t know that I’m necessarily rooting for, especially because Trebor makes a pretty huge decision near the end of the book that should have had more of an impact on their relationship than it did. Granted, Ana does call him out on it, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth. The pacing, unfortunately, is the novel’s biggest hurdle. In the beginning the chapters are a little choppy, and the first half is a little slow as it’s mostly build up and the aforementioned infodumping tends to drag things down a lot. Thankfully the second half picks up and finds its footing. There’s also an issue of things being a little predictable, such as the set up around Andy, a popular boy at Ana’s school. But at the end of the day, I’m glad I read The Hierophant, and I’ll be looking for the second book in the series when it comes out. There’s enough here to interest me in what happens next and the mysteries surrounding various plot points during this novel. See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand.