It's just as heartbreaking as the rest of the series. ~sigh~
Good Cal was interesting. I liked seeing this other possibility of Cal. After Darkling in the.. first?... book we've seen Cal as an insanely just evil, vicious person. Now we've seen is good [as good as it could be called] side. It's pretty neat seeing the different ways he could have turned out had his life been different. Had he not been part Auphe or had he not had Niko with him.
The biggest thing with this book though, was being able to sympathize with Niko. It's not really been possible in the other books because of how perfect he is, but here, I think we really get to feel what he feels. I wanted the original Cal back, but at the same time I enjoyed his happiness. I enjoyed him being more at ease. I wanted him to be his old self again, but at the same time I didn't know how I would possibly be able to handle seeing these happy-ish Cal go through the horror of everything that's happened to him and who he is. I didn't want him to have to deal with being Auphe again and feeling the way he does. It was just heartbreaking.
I do have to say though, I'm surprised it came back so easy. There wasn't as much torment for Cal as I thought there would be in finding out he was part Auphe. For that I am both happy and sad. Happy because, well, he's not suffering, but at the same time sad because I don't want him to accept the Auphe part of him. I don't want him to feel like he can never be happy. It's so very complicated. Brothers before souls. Cal and Niko are something else.