A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine description:
Mysteries abound, especially in Two Castles.
A handsome cat trainer, black-and-white cats, thieves on four legs and two, suspicious townsfolk, a greedy king, a giddy princess, a shape-shifting ogre, a brilliant dragon. Which is the villainous whited sepulcher?
Elodie journeys to the town of Two Castles to become a mansioner—an actress—but luck is against her. She is saved from starvation by the dragon Meenore, who sends her on a dangerous mission inside the ogre’s castle. There, disguised as a kitchen maid at an ogre’s feast, she finds herself cast in the role of a lifetime and pitted against a foe intent on murder.
This book kind of let me down… it just didn’t have the normal zest and the characters lacked spark… I just never really seemed to feel for any of them… everyone is so one dimensional with not a lot of growth in any of them… the King is basically an idiot and acts like a child… in fact everyone is almost childlike in their reasoning and acting… it was okay and had a reasonable plot… the dragon, Meenore, was perhaps the best part being the only one that seems to think out their actions and tries to go about things in a reasonable fashion… it’s because of her that Elodie has any real growth at all… and it ended where there could be a sequel which I might give a try… but honestly I hope she brings back her normal brilliant writing that normally makes her books so thrilling and that I had grown to love because this was not as good as she could’ve done…