Song of the Earth
Jianyu is a 16-year-old Dreamspeaker. He met Daniel online just before he Awakened, at the age of 15, but Trista got to him before Daniel did, although she is no longer his mentor. As of Daniel’s Time Loop he is an initiate of Time and a novice of several other spheres. He is curious, enthusiastic, and a quick learner.
The first time they meet, Will and Alex share their problems with Tecumseh’s vengeance spirits. Jianyu, who is something of a history buff, shares his theory that Tecumseh was a mage, and his workings to create a cross-continental ritual, which Will recognizes as the creation of the Network. Jianyu thinks the ritual is a net, specifically a pink net, though he can’t say why besides that it’s red and white.
Trista does not allow Will and Jianyu to exchange email addresses, and places herself as a go-between. After he leaves, Trista explains that she doesn’t hold him back to frustrate him. Jianyu has only been a mage for 3 months. He doesn’t even know the names of all the spheres, and he’s already piecing together archaic rituals. Mages who Awaken as children progress fast. Before Will, she only knew two others who Awakened younger than Jianyu. One is in a mental hospital; the other Awakened at 11 and was a Marauder by the time she was 20. Marauders are disproportionately young even excluding those who go Marauder at the time of their Awakening. She means to take Jianyu as slow as she can.
After Jianyu finds more sources for Will, Trista relents and lets the two of them speak directly, figuring she has been a bit stifling, and it will be good for Jianyu to know a mage his own age.
Later Will visits Jianyu. The Dreamspeaker shares his theories about the earthquakes and everything else, trying to make it fit together. Will reveals the existence of the Network—and that he has entered it—and swears him to secrecy. Jianyu meets a vengeance spirit and it blows him off.
When Will and Jacob come to Trista needing to travel into the Umbra, she temporarily transfers Jianyu’s apprenticeship to another Dreamspeaker outside of Cincinnati, one he has never met, much to Jianyu’s distress. If she doesn’t return he will be Cincinnati’s only Dreamspeaker. Sometime after returning safely she resumes teaching him.
While Daniel never became his mentor, he is still closer to him than anyone besides Trista. Without explicitly mentioning the Network, he mentioned enough that made Daniel curious enough to come to Cincinnati and investigate. They met at at the Carnival.
Jianyu and Daniel run into Xifeng and Ben. When they go to the Circle Most Dire, Jianyu starts spinning with Xifeng and they disappear. Joshua is inside Jianyu. Once he exits, Jianyu tried to warn Xifeng he was crazy—as in made out of crazy—before Joshua flung him bodily off the ride and then turned Xifeng into a cat.
After Cadence dies, she tries to make contact with Jianyu, but he isn’t strong enough for full communication.
In December, the Technocrats begin monitoring Jianyu. They find his teacher, Trista. After a few days of the Men in Black monitoring her, she cracks and turns herself in for Processing, warning Jianyu to get out of dodge first. Jianyu flees selfsame Men in Black and makes it to the chantry as a refugee.
When Daniel becomes trapped in a time loop, Jianyu hears his empathic call for help. Trying to intervene, he gets trapped in the loop as well. Despite a few loops of awareness—one of which he is shot multiple times by Alethia—he ends up temporally trapped as the others are. However, in trying to address the problem he passes a Seeking and attains the same level of understanding as most of his peers in the chantry.
During the Juncture, Jianyu successfully helped contact the spirit of Cincinnati and get it to seal Joshua away, but he was too badly wounded in the battle with Jahan to continue it further.
At Tippecanoe, after Eleanor’s betrayal, he attempted to covertly push a large shelf of fish tanks onto her, but she electrocuted and nearly killed him. He did however survive the battle.
During the Cataclysm, Kate took Jianyu among those “involved” to her lair to explain her motives for her betrayal. Jianyu was unable to free himself from the time freeze she used, but with the help of Alex, Ava, and America, fled to Kite’s pocket realm before he, too, was killed. Jianyu and the rest of the Avengers, minus Will and Ava, appeared in Houston, TX, 11 weeks after the Cataclysm.
There, Kouamé led them to NASA to enlist the aid of the Void Engineers in Space. Jianyu and America took the Technocrats’ invitation to take a look at their work to restore the Web. While Jianyu logged in willingly, America was forced, so that they could torture her in perpetuity for the crimes of her father. Jianyu found himself in the stands of an arena, with Kate appearing to gloat. Cleverly he contacted Will, who himself had doxxed Kate—Will was able to get the crowd to take Kate instead. When America and Jianyu awoke, America ordered Jianyu to the chantry and safety.
Despite the Avengers’ insistence on protecting him as their weakest member, Gabrielle advised Alex and Xifeng that if Daniel insisted on going to the Starlight Passage he needed to take America and Jianyu. They accompanied the Ecstatic on his mission.
Inside, America and Daniel encountered a version of Jianyu that had never left the Passage—because there was nothing to mark the passage of time there, a part of him would always be there. He led them to Aaron and helped them figure out how to escape, telling Daniel he loved him and that Aaron would be more help to him than he himself.
When they escaped the Passage, they discovered Jianyu hadn’t been entirely truthful—his mind never left the Passage, and not Matt or Fríða or Jessica could restore it. He was taken back to the chantry, utterly catatonic…