Thamizhini joined the liberation tigers of Tamil Eelam (late) at the age of nineteen and spent eighteen years as a combatant, educator and, for some time, head of the women’s division of its political wing. Her memoir, in the shadow of a sword, weaves back and forth between reminiscences of her childhood experiences of state violence and her decision to join the late. It recounts the many projects she undertook for the civilian population; her participation in the peace talks of 2002; The freedoms granted and constraints placed upon her during the armed struggle; and her experiences in combat training, on the battlefield, and in political negotiations and diplomacy. It is a narrative weighted with grief and remorse yet glistening with moments of humour and thick with compassion. The memoir contains wry observations on gender roles and media manipulation in times of war and is a valuable archive that rescues female combatants from oblivion.