A Tale of Two Castles by: Gail Carson Levine, Harper, 2011.
This was a fun book. Elodie travels from her island to the big city, to become an apprentice; her parents think as a weaver, and she thinks as a mansioner, which means actress. However, she discovers there are no free apprenticeships, now all apprentices must pay—more money than she has. She tries out anyway, and is rejected. However she befriends a dragon. The dragon offers her employ as his crier, and she accepts.
This is a fun book about unlikely relationships, such as that between Elodie and the dragon; but also between she and the ogre, who can change form. The ogre hires the dragon for some private eye work, and Elodie is called upon to be the dragons eyes and ears on the ground. This leads to a good adventure, but also gets Elodie into some serious trouble as they try to discover who wants to kill the ogre, who is stealing everything, and poaching the ogres animals. The king owns one castle in towns, and the ogre the other. The ogre is to marry the princess. But he disappears at the wedding announcement party, and is presumed dead. Now Elodie and the dragon really have their work cut out for them, which will result in their own peril.