The protagonist of Khaled Hosseini's novel, The Kite Runner, Amir makes up for his earlier transgressions when he returns to Afghanistan to rescue Hassan's son from the Taliban. Amir had acted cowardly in his previous treatment of Hassan (refusing to help him while being raped and planting incriminating evidence against him); however, his guilt over these transgressions haunted him continuously as an adult. When Amir learns that Hassan is actually his half-brother, and that Hassan's son, Sohrab (Amir's half-nephew) has been left behind in Afghanistan, he realizes that by rescuing the boy and returning him to America he will make amends for his earlier faults. He risks his life by just re-entering the Taliban-held territory and barely comes out alive when he frees Sohrab. These actions could certainly be called heroic, though I doubt that Amir would have considered them so.
Amir is seen as being the true heroe since he is portrayed as the main character and putting his life at risk at the end so that he could redeem himself because of all the guilt he had been facing for so many years, we tend to have to feel sorry for Amir and see his action of redemption as being 'heroic'; where as in actual fact Hassan is actually the true heroe since he had such courage to stand up for his friend at such a young age.