I'm writing a story with a world that has different physics, alchemy rather than chemistry, and biology that relies somewhat on magic.
The protagonist is not of this world, however he is not of our world either. His powers do not work like the semi-scientific powers of the world he has come to inhabit.
The setting's powers work by using one's will, the same thing that keeps them alive, and isolating distinct 'powers', memorising the mental triggers that evoke them, and associating them with a verbal component. You then combine verbal components to cast a spell, and after casting a spell often enough, you can give it its own verbal component distinct from the other two.
'Sao' makes the object unform.
'Cau' makes the object form.
'Ti' makes the next command happen immediately after.
'SaoTiCau' therefore makes the object change from one thing into another.
If you cast it enough, you will be able to associate a simpler verbal component with it, such as 'Nur'.
Alchemical Transmutation works by learning the essence of an alchemical reaction, such as:
Si = Fire (Fr) + Earth (Er) ⟶ Magma (ErFr)
By using the associated verbal component in conjunction with the change command, you can cast NurSi, which turns fire and earth into magma.
But magma reacts as well.
Fa = Magma (ErFr) + Water (Wr) ⟶ Stone (WrErFr)
Therefore, if you want a spell that turns Fire and Earth and Water into Stone, you can just use NurSiTiFa!
The protagonist's powers are utterly alien.
They are essentially from another world, and 'magic schizophrenia', though perhaps insensitive to actual afflictees, is not an entirely bad way of describing it.
The protagonist has sixteen or so 'hallucinations', that represent ideals, such as justice, or honour, or Triumph.
By going to places in the area where he resides, where others and himself come close to reaching these ideals, (such as the courts, the duelling hall, and the rec. room), he can meet with a hallucinated version of himself that matches the way he thinks he would be like if he fully lived up to that ideal. (Aggressive and decisive, solemn and contemplative, and jubilant and competitive respectively). Depending on how pleased they are with his actions, they will give him abilities that either allow him to overcome limitations the ideal requires, or represent that ideal. (Sympathy magic - similar to the way voodoo dolls work, the ability to hold someone to their word, and changing the direction of gravity.)
My target audience is currently considered to be young adults, and it took some explaining to verbally explain how the above magic system worked.
At the beginning of the novel, the protagonist doesn't actually know they have these powers, nor how magic works in the setting.
And that's not even getting into the lore, resident creatures, economy, etc.
How do I prevent my readers from getting confused?