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This is a book series that I read in middle school.

I remember the very beginning of the story started with a dragon shape shifting into a little old lady in order to walk through a town. She used a magic pearl that was hidden behind her ear. And when she shape shifted it hurt especially to get smaller instead of larger.

Somehow she meets an orphaned boy, I can't remember how. But they travel together and she shifts to the size of a cat. They go in search of her family because she was exiled a long time ago and find what used to be an ocean is now just salt... because something stole the water. The salt is so white it almost blinds them.

I know a trickster monkey god messes with them and ends up traveling with them. And I remember the boy getting stuck in an old magic trap. Used to trap this creature that was only skin and he needs the boy's help. The boy figures out they can escape in the pots because they are made of clay and the barrier lets clay, sand and water pass through.

At one point they all shape shift into horses to avoid being noticed by a human army camp.

And I remember at the very end of the books they find out that the boy is actually a king and how great of a king he will be because he can laugh at himself.

3

Elements of this sound like Dragon of the Lost Sea by Laurence Yep.

Shimmer, an exiled dragon princess traveling incognito in human form, senses powerful magic emanating from a small village. Investigating its source, she determines that it is the witch Civet, who sealed up the waters of her homeland, the Inland Sea, centuries ago in the form of a blue pebble, now making it known as the Lost Sea. Civet is staying at a local inn in disguise. Shimmer soon encounters a young, orphaned kitchen servant named Thorn who is being harassed by the local children because he claims to have seen the mythical Unicorn, one of the Five Masters. Supporting him, Shimmer is defended by Thorn when the children are about to turn on her, earning a beating from his master the innkeeper. She visits Thorn at the inn out of gratitude, and accepts his offer of a meal and a place to stay for the night, having never met with such hospitality during all her years of exile. Later that night, she saves Thorn from an attack by one of Civet's servants, an enchanted paper warrior sent to kill him because of his purported Unicorn sighting. The two are forced to flee the village after Shimmer defends Thorn against his master. To escape, Shimmer uses the dream pearl, a treasure which she was exiled for supposedly stealing hundreds of years ago, to change into her true form as a dragon in order fly away with Thorn.

Per wikipedia

  • As someone who's read this series: this is 100% the Dragon Series by Yep. – Kitkat Jun 25 '18 at 16:11

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