The Philosopher's Flight by Tom Miller

The Philosopher's Flight

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 arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fightin...

Details The Philosopher's Flight

TitleThe Philosopher's Flight
Release DateFeb 13th, 2018
PublisherSimon & Schuster
GenreFantasy, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

Reviews The Philosopher's Flight

  • Will Byrnes
    And what is empirical philosophy—what is sigilry—except a branch of science that we don’t yet fully understand? There’s no dark art to it; it’s nothing more than the movement of energy to produce a physical effect. The human body provides the power, while the sigil, drawn sometimes with beads of water, sometimes with cornmeal or sand, catalyzes the movement. You can do a thousand useful things: make a plant grow larger and faster; send ...
  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    On sale now! A strong 4 stars. Full review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:Many historical eras ― particularly the Regency and Victorian, with World War II in the mix as well ― have been reimagined through the lens of fantasy and science fiction: alternative history, with magic or superpowers as the focus for recasting historical events. World War I has, I think, been underserved in this genre. Tom Miller’s The Philosopher’s Flight do...
  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum Philosopher’s Flight might be my first genuine surprise of 2018. Backed by a fascinating premise that blends together historical fiction and fantasy, this novel held my attention captive from beginning to end. Set in an alternate World-War-I-era America, at the core of this tale is “magical science”, also known as empirical philosophy, a system of magic that use...
  • Juli
    I love books about alternate history. But The Philosopher's Flight is something more....a combination of fantasy, sci-fi, alternate history...and pure magic. The Basics: Certain symbols, called sigils, can be used to focus power. That power can be used for mundane things like making plants grow larger, curing illness or even flying, but also for more destructive actions like killing 40,000 enemy soldiers in one battle during the Civil War. Althou...
  • Xavier (CharlesXplosion)
    A high-fantasy, Harry Potter-esque story about a female-centric world. Although Miller's worldbuilding is unparallel, the lack of characterization and plot made The Philosopher's Flight a complete misfire.
  • Mike
    This was excellent, and I'm really glad I took the risk with it. It was recommended by a fellow writer on a forum we both frequent, and when I saw it was on Netgalley I picked it up. My big concern was that the genderflip inherent in the premise - women are, for unexplained reasons, the best at magic, and a young man tries to establish himself among them during the period of the First World War - could so easily have gone terribly wrong. (I'm thi...
  • Bam
    *3.5 starsA unique reimagining of history that blends science fiction, fantasy as well as historical fiction. In this story, sigilry, or empirical philosophy, is a branch of science which came into widespread use in 1750. Since women have always been much better at this powerful technique than men, a group of fanatics calling themselves Trenchers seek to eliminate it as being witchcraft or some other dark art.But just what is empirical philosophy...
  • Linda Zagon
    My Review of “The Philosopher’s Flight” by Tom Miller Simon and Schuster, February 2018Tom Miller, Author of “The Philosopher’s Flight” has provided a unique story that combines the Genres of Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Magical Illusion, Magical Realism, and Fiction. The author has woven these genres in a coming of age tale of a young man fighting for his dreams in a women’s world.The author describes his characters as comp...
  • Simone
    I honestly and truly wished I loved this book. I felt like there's a lot of potential for it being a great series, but after only reading the first novel from both the author and the series I wasn't all too excited. This was definitely more like Harry Potter where magic (also known as Empirical Philosophy) exists alongside the very real world. This "magic" is not inherited, but learned and anyone can basically pick it up. It requires the use of s...
  • Laura LVD
    I know I'm in the minority here, but didn't like it. I give two stars because it's really well written, but couldn't connect with the story at all. Sorry, but couldn't suspend my disbelief for one moment. I found the use of certain words irritating ("Sapphist", "cartogramancer" for example, why choose so many archaisms, euphemisms and invented words?) and the weird physics was too much for me (Example "at the same time you're braking, you are als...
  • Princess
    Robert dreams of becoming a flying Rescue-and-Evac specialist. Even though females are better at arcane magic/science. We spend the bulk of this book at Radcliffe college where Robert trains among formidable women. The gender issue could have easily been mishandled, but the author does a commendable job. For some readers, this book may hit too close to home about social issues in current-day America. It's spot on. Also of note, this book is simil...
  • Rachel Stansel
    This is one of the most fun books I have read this year. A unique alternate history where "philosophers" use special combinations of chemical or compounds to do what we would consider magic. Smokecarving, hovering, transporting and lots more. Women are the lead sigilists with some men having basic abilities. Robert is the son of one such woman, but he gets the chance to show he is just as capable. Throw in their enemies, traditionalists men who w...
  • Travis
    I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley, but my opinions are my own......And my opinion is: Mr. Tom Miller needs to write more books in this world! This is a 4.5 rounded up. The only reason it isn't a solid 5.0 is because I wanted the plot and story to cover a little bit more ground, but I expect that this is the first in a projected series. If you liked the depth and texture of Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, then this is t...
  • Barb
    Trying to like this book, but finding it a bit challenging. I know, I know. The other reviews are great. And while I promise to come back when I've finished and layer more review on top of this brief one, I have some pet peeves for now. The main one is the use of unknown words that made me have to stop reading to go look them up. Emanuensis? Stasied? Never did find what that meant. Why not just say secretary? The other peeve was character develop...
  • R. Bonne
    Robert “Boober” Weekes is one of a few male philosophers. His mother is a famous war veteran transporter, and he aspires to become the same, despite the limited capability of his gender.This book was fun, despite how harsh the gender politics came across during the first half. Eventually, the alternate history/reality unfolds and makes sense. Recommend! Thanks to Netgalley for access to the advance copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
  • Out of the Bex
    In a world much different, yet entirely similar to our own, debut author Tom Miller crafts a story for the ages.Between a spellbinding front and back cover, 405 pages explore artfully crafted characters and phenomenal world-building. The play between science and magic introduces a myriad of previously unexplored technologies, inventions, and unique perspectives. Additionally, Miller’s choice to experiment with an alternate reality where standar...
  • Koeur
    2017-11-20 SimonPublishing Date: February 2018ISBN:9781476778150Genre: FantasyRating: 4.4/5Publishers Description: Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fighting in the Great War as the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps...
  • Marzie
    Author Tom Miller's debut novel The Philosopher's Flight is a genre-bending steampunk wild ride. In this world, witches or wizards are philosophers and all the best ones are female. In spite of their amazing prowess in military campaigns, philosophers are feared. Trenchers, a sort of evangelical set comprised largely of men who fear and despise these powerful women, continually oppose and threaten the philosophers in ways both physical and legal....
  • Katie
    The world building in this book is incredible! I can’t remember the last time I felt as confident in a universe. In a way, Tom Miller reminds me of JK Rowling. If I were to ask Miller an obscure question about the history of sigilry or drawing a messaging glyph, I know he would have an in-depth answer at the ready. Miller knows and understands every small coroner of his world. Each chapter of The Philosopher’s Flight begins with a tiny excerp...
  • Stephanie
    (The publisher provided a copy for me to review)In this alternate history novel, empirical philosophers have discovered how to manipulate energy with sigils to send messages, grow better crops, control fire - even flight. Although women have an overwhelming ability for sigilry, our main character Robert is a rare man who has an aptitude for it and wants to pursue it. His dream is to join the elite Rescue and Evacuation team (just like his mother)...
  • Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
    Review to come!
  • Chelsey Mae
    K I friggin love this book. So glad I picked it in one of my BOTM last month!!!! It was so different and fun and nothing like I expected at all really. Very pleasantly surprised!!! Magic ✨
  • Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
    *I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*I HAVE A HEADACHE (unrelated to this book) SO LET'S GET THIS OVER WITH QUICKLY. (lmao this is me from the end of the review adding on: i did not get this over with quickly)The Philosopher's Flight is weirdly good. The magic system is super there (it's just... very there. It's there, guys.) and the complexity of the characters was unexpected and cool. Unexpectedly coo...
  • Brittany
    MUST READ! I LOVED this book! It was so refreshing and such a new concept. Women have this ability to be great philosophers in terms of basically making magic happen through the act of drawing sigils. Men, however, are just not that great at it...they're even more terrible at being able to fly. And I mean fly, literally...not in an airplane...but like just them with a harness, some bags of powder, and drawing sigils. But then comes along Robert.....
  • Allen Adams
    2018-02-14 could argue that the idea of a world where magic works has been done to death in the realm of fantasy fiction. Whether you’re talking about urban fantasy set in the present day or fiction with a more historical bent, it’s a creative vein that has been pretty thoroughly mined.And yet, when it works, it REALLY works. And Tom Miller’s “The Philosopher’s Flight” REALLY works.Set in the early par...
  • Jackie
    Book Info Hardcover, 432 pagesExpected publication: February 13th 2018 by Simon SchusterISBN 1476778159 (ISBN13: 9781476778150)Other Editions (3)Source:Netgalley EARCBuy book from Amazon B&N BOOK BLURB 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. “Like his characte...
  • Sarah
    (somewhere between 2.5 and 3 stars). I enjoyed reading this book. The mixed genre (sci-fi/magic and dystopian) is one I typically enjoy. But it read like a debut author's first novel. and I felt there were a few major flaws. 1: The characters seem bi-polar and flat/undeveloped. for example, The 18 year old country boy (and the story's hero), Robert Weeks is at some times country bumpkin ("ain't nobody going to stop me" and "gee shucks, Ma'") and ...
  • Rachel
    Really good books grab hold of you and don’t let you go, even after you close the cover. I have a feeling this one is going to stick with me for a while. It is not at all what I expected. As the description indicates, it’s part alternative history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly the beginning of WWI, and part coming-of-age story for Robert Weekes, a male skilled in a female dominated branch of science/magic. The world ...