Robin McKinley — The Hero and the Crown (1984)

She thought: If this mess really worked, everyone would know of it; they would all use it for dragon-hunting, and would have been using it all along, and dragons would no longer be a risk—and that book would be studied and not left to gather dust. It is foolish to think I have discovered something everyone before me had overlooked. She bowed her head over her burnt twig, and several hot tears slipped down her face onto her page of calculations.

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