I'm looking for a young adult series. I read the first of installment a long time ago and I have never been able to find the rest. It starts with the protagonist scamming people with his ability to change the image displayed on the surface of an object; in this case, he changes one playing card to another in street games of "queens", where the goal is to find the queen. There are (maybe) 9 "dimensions" and as the characters go deeper into the realms, their abilities get stronger. For example, in the second realm, the main character can not only transform the surfaces of objects, but also the inside: he turns arrows shooting at his friend into harmless rose petals.
This is The Book of Names, the first book of the Diadem series by John Peel.
The series takes place on several different worlds, collectively referred to as the Diadem. Travel between worlds is accomplished through the use of magic portals. The physical distance between worlds is irrelevant. Portal travel is based on the mystical geography of the Diadem, which is divided into five layers. The layers are a little like the layers of an onion and a drawing of them is the logo of the Diadem series and is on every book. At the center is a single world called Jewel, followed by the Inner Circuit, Middle Circuit, Outer Circuit, and Outer Rim. Magic is strongest on Jewel, and progressively weaker the "farther" a world is from the center. In the Outer Rim, magic barely functions at all.
Duplicate of this.