The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller

The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller

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Set in an alternate history America, The Philosopher’s Flight is a delightful, and insightful, coming of age story set in the early 20th century.  Empirical philosophy, the ability to control the wind to fly, heal, and move objects is a science dominated by women.  Female Philosophers have long used their abilities to fly great distances while transporting critically injured patients, move large armies across countries to surprise enemies, and are just all-around badasses who are counted on to save the day.  

Raised by one of the greatest fliers of all time, Robert Weekes is determined to become one of the first male members of the US Sigilry Corps’ Rescue and Evacuation Department members.  Considering men have barely enough ability to get their toes off the ground, Robert is soundly laughed off. But when he proves his skills during a daring mission he is given the chance to study at Radcliffe and pursue his dreams.  

Or so he thinks.  

The women at Radcliffe make their disdain and disgust about a male student joining their female dominated studies very well known.  Struggling against deep rooted sexism and constant harassment, Robert is forced to prove himself at every turn. When Robert falls for Danielle Hardin, an outspoken activist, their relationship quickly catches the attention of the Trenchers, a group determined to end the philosophy movement at any cost.

FIghting for his place amongst the elite fliers, against the growing threat of the Trenchers, and for his love of Danielle, Robert will be pushed to his limits.

This was such a great book!  There is so much to unpack with how Robert and the other male students deal with the sexism and disrespect every day at Radcliffe-and just every day in general.  The women truly dominate the field of flying and they have no patience for a man trying to enter their domain. Danielle has to deal with constant anti-semitism and constant attacks from the Trenchers on top of dealing with-what I assume is-some form of PTSD from serving in the Great War.  Robert’s mother has a long history with battling the Trenchers and leaving her behind in Montana is incredibly stressful for him. It’s just an incredibly tense story but there are plenty of times that it becomes quite whimsical and funny.

I found this book absolutely delightful and I couldn’t recommend it enough.  This was a backlist title that I picked up through Book of the Month and I can see why it was selected-it really is that good.

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