I read it as a paperback around 2009ish. There are at least two books in the series. In the first book, we learn that the protagonist lives up in the mountains. Her people are distrusted by the people in the plains, and I think have either dark or olive skin. She leaves home to learn magic, something I think is rare in the world she lives in. When she arrives, there's a crazy power-hungry man at her destination and she has to hide who she is because otherwise he'd have her killed to prevent her from surpassing him. At some point, she winds up in a set of chambers set into the mountain where she finds a pool of water and carvings about dragons. Somehow, this leads into her learning to become a dragon, I think perhaps after meeting one. I want to say that the sequel got into her having dreams that turn out to be partly prophetic and partly communication.
One of the reasons the book sticks out in my memory is that, despite the mentions of the protagonists dusky skin, the cover depicts a fair-skinned blonde girl, I think holding a glowing globe of light.