“The real dragon haunted my head and heart.”
What makes Dragon's Keep work for me is its approach: a medieval fantasy written more like historical fantasy than high fantasy. Yet it has that sliver of magic and magical creatures (dragons, of course) to spice up the lyrical story. In other words, the author avoids over-doing the chosen one approach, and instead creates very believable characters in a believable world.
I wasn't sure I would like this 12th century-esque story, but I was pleasantly surprised. I would recommend this woman-of-steel protagonist for teen readers who aren't sure