The Ritual (1996)
The Ritual is romantic story about princess and dragon with the twist.
From Dmitry Gromov and Oleg Ladyzhensky review on the first (1966) edition:
“This is the literature <…> with absolutely true characters, soft irony and quiet sorrow; the trite story about a dragon stealing a princess and a savior-knight is unexpectedly turned inside out: what if the princess is far form being a beauty, more to the contrary? What if the knight does not even think about saving her? But he is forced to do it… by the dragon! What if… There is a number of similar surprises throughout the novel, it reads avidly, and, after having read the last page, you want to call for more. But then you realize that it would be a completely different story…”