I am looking for a novel that I read when I was a teenager (late 90s to early 00s). I don't think I ever finished it so I would like a chance to do so but I can't remember the name! Hopefully the following description is not too vague.
The main character was a human who trained as some sort of travelling storyteller. At the start of the story the country/kingdom that the character lives in is coming under attack from another country/kingdom overseas. A big part of he story was the tension between humans and a human-animal servant class that were usually described by which animal they most closely represent (equine, bovine etc). I'm pretty sure there were also dragons in the world, although they may have been absent for quite a while.