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I read this book about 5-7 years ago, so the image of it in my head may prove severely altered. Anyway, from what I remember, the book was a portal fantasy about a kid named "Eric" (could possibly not be his name) who finds another world. I believe once he gets to that world, he somehow becomes or is mistaken for the ruler of the area and has to go through trials in order to obtain some gem crown and prove his legitimacy and he is also one of the few humans in this place. Again,this may be a bit different from the actual book but this is what I remember. I also remember a brief part of one of the other books in the series where he gets a romantic letter by way of snail or shell that smells of perfume? and he travels to the area where the sender is located only to find that she is a very ugly monster.

P.S. The book is not "The Secrets of Droon" as it had way more chapters and pages altogether.

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  • Can you tell us when "years ago" was? Maybe 2? Maybe 15? – Möoz Jan 31 '17 at 4:06
  • It was about 5-7 years ago – Gamma Jan 31 '17 at 4:08
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    Couldn’t be “Erec Rex,” could it? It matches in a variety of aspects, in particular the “Snail Mail.” – Adamant Jan 31 '17 at 6:19
  • Sadly, Erec Rex book six has not yet been released, and the author has had no social media presence for four years. – Adamant Jan 31 '17 at 6:46
  • Thank you SOOOOO much, Erec Rex is it. I knew the mc's name was eric but it was spelled differently. Much of the plot seemed to be lost in memory though. – Gamma Jan 31 '17 at 21:42
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Erec Rex

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This series matches most of your main points:

  • The protagonist is named “Erec.” (Not “Eric,” but pretty close).
  • In the first book, Erec does indeed participate in trials in order to qualify to become the next ruler.
  • The third comes from the second book, The Monsters of Otherness. The most salient detail is the presence of "snail mail," as mentioned in the question: mail literally sent by snail:

    Instead a swirl of pink appeared in the dirt by his feet, growing quickly into a snail covered with red hearts. He was sure it was another letter from Tina. Her snail mail seemed able to find him anywhere when he was outside. He pulled a sheet of scented pink paper from the shell.

    The Monsters of Otherness

    Tina, Erec’s "secret admirer", has been sending him snail mail, and he imagines her as being conventionally attractive. When he meets her, he finds that the reality is rather different:

    Erec and Jam stood at the open door. It did not seem right to barge in, and Rowena had not asked them. Something that must have been some sort of a servant creature working for the family scuffled up to the door. Erec had never seen anything like it. It was a head taller than him, with spiky horns and small beaded tufts of hair atop its head. Sharp teeth jutted from its mouth, and spikes shot from its long, dangling nose. Thick bumps and polyps covered its greenish skin. Three long tentacle arms hung at each of its sides, decorated with golden bangles, and ending in sharp, curved claws. But, oddest of all, a row of eyes stared at him from under the creature’s neck and around its shoulders, above its white dress.

    “Erec?” The creature had a surprisingly high voice.

    “Yes.” He smiled. “Is Tina here?”

    “I am Tina!” The thing smiled at him.

    Erec’s smile melted off of his face, and his jaw dropped. This was Tina? He had no idea she looked like this. It all made sense now, her talking about her people being different. She must have noticed his shock, for she giggled uncomfortably. Erec tried to explain. “I’m sorry, Tina. It’s just that you’re so ugly, that’s all. You’re hideous. I thought you were going to look like Rowena.”

    He could not believe what he had heard himself say. It was that awful scroll again, the Archives of Alithea, messing with him, making him say everything he didn’t want to.

    The Monsters of Otherness

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