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All booksFantasyThe Philosopher's Flight
The Philosopher's Flight by Tom Miller

The Philosopher's Flight

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Tom Miller, on your first book!

by Tom Miller

Quick take

In an alternate world where only women are strong enough to wield magic, a gifted boy goes where no man has gone before: Radcliffe, a prestigious female-only school of sigilry.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Feminist


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LightRead

    Light read


A thrilling debut from ER doctor turned novelist Tom Miller, The Philosopher's Flight is an epic historical fantasy set in a World-War-I-era America where magic and science have blended into a single extraordinary art.

Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an mysterious, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of becoming the first male to join the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service—a team of flying medics—Robert is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother, a former soldier and vigilante, aids the locals.

When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women's school. At Radcliffe, Robert hones his skills and strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable, unruly women.

Robert falls hard for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young war hero turned political radical. However, Danielle's activism and Robert's recklessness attract the attention of the same fanatical anti-philosophical group that Robert's mother fought years before. With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heroes to fight for Robert's place among the next generation of empirical philosophers—and for philosophy's very survival against the men who would destroy it.

In the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness, Tom Miller writes with unrivaled imagination, ambition, and humor. The Philosopher's Flight is both a fantastical reimagining of American history and a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.

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Member thoughts

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All (3254)
Love (1446)
Like (1369)
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3511 ratings
  • 41% Love
  • 39% Like
  • 13% Dislike
  • Omaha, NE

    From the first sentence, I couldn't put the book down and finished reading it in two sittings. It is a brilliantly realized novel and features an incredibly imaginative world that rivals Harry Potter. I was surprised and delighted at the novel's focus on a discipline in which women are the victors, and an alternate history in which women were more respected and educated. If you're looking for a fantasy-tinged historical novel, or a historically-tinged fantasy novel, you've found your book.

  • Bothell, WA

    This fun historical altered fantasy, rakes gender roles and flips them in some key roles and deals with the after math of that. Where it could be dense its actually a really fun, different and thoughtprovokingreadloveit

  • Monrovia, IN

    This was a fun, alt-history (steampunk-ish) read. But it’s not a feminist story. Ultimately it’s a book about a guy overcoming prejudice in a female-driven society, written by a guy. It’s not feminist

  • Odessa, TX

    #Girlpower ????✨As soon as I turned the final page I had to jump on the internet and make sure there will be a sequel. Thankfully all is well in the world and there is an additional book coming in 2019.

  • walhalla, SC

    A very imaginative take on rewriting history. A world were women have the upper hand in strength and educations. But there is still the times old battle of the sexes and in this world it often gets bloody

  • Lone Jack, MO

    This book was wrote with great detail & imagination. It takes you to a completely different version of what we know as normal—and I loved it! You’ll be rooting for the main character the whole time.

  • Owosso, MI

    I loved the alternate timeline. The story kept me interested and thinking. In a world where women are literally more powerful than men, men still held a significant amount of political and cultural power

  • West Warwick , RI

    This book started slow, but once I got into it, it was great. You have to concentrate a lot when reading it. It’s not a simple read, it really challenges your mind to keep up. Overall, intriguing read

  • San Antonio, TX

    This is a little Harry Potter-esque with magic and flying and female power! Enjoyed the role reversals of males being at a disadvantage in this early 1900’s novel. Highly recommend if you love JK Rowl

  • Bristol, TN

    It simultaneously reminded me of several different things I’ve read or seen in the movies yet at the same time nothing like anything I’ve ever read before. I loved the story and fell in love with it

  • Mooresville, NC

    The Philosopher’s Flight is an engrossing tale from the first few pages. I was immediately enthralled with the very unique world and society our author creates. I am eager to read more in the series!

  • Poughkeepsie, NY

    Following a protagonist struggling against gender roles/restrictions is familiar, but having this protagonist be male in a female-dominated world was a nice twist. Add some humor and you’ve sold me!

  • Portland, OR

    Like Harry Potter, this book is masterfully writen, fantastical, and uplifting -but the similarities end here- this story is entirely it’s own! So well crafted and believable.. an instant favorite!!

  • St. Augustine, FL

    I absolutely love the world that the author has created in this book, and how it flips the typical “protagonist can’t do something because she’s a girl” script. Finished it in a day and a half!

  • Leander, TX

    Wasn't sure when I started this book, but I was hooked after only a few chapters! An interesting concept of a man stepping into a female-dominated world. Complete with some action, laughs, and romance

  • Las Vegas, NV

    A fun feminist alt-history where women are good at magic and men are assumed not. The women in this book are supremely capable and awesome. No wonder the male main character wants to fly beside them.

  • Chicago, IL

    I love how Miller intertwined "real" American history together with fantasy, effectively crafting an engaging patriarchal critique while also building an engrossing world with unique rules of its own.

  • Ann Arbor, MI

    This is going to be a series, right? The novel starts a little slow, but by the end you're frantically searching for more pages because there's absolutely got to more to this story. I just want more.

  • Indianapolis, IN

    The Philosopher's Flight was an ode back to my love for all things magical all the while bringing up still relevant social issues. There were many giggles and gasps and kept me engaged until the end!

  • Columbus, OH

    I really enjoyed this book. Along with its reimagining of history, there are themes of sexism, religion, war, violence, and standing up for what you believe is right. Excellent world-building as well.

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