The rising action in The Kite Runner begins when Amir receives the ominous phone call from Baba's old friend, Rahim Khan, who is now living in Pakistan.
There is a way to be good again
Rahim tells Amir. So, Amir begins his long journey back to Afghanistan, with stops in Pakistan along the way. Author Khaled Hosseini has withheld from the reader several important bits of information about Baba's past that helps create the rising action. When Rahim tells Amir that Ali, Hassan's father, was sterile, Amir doesn't immediately understand the implications. But it soon becomes clear. Baba had impregnated Ali's wife, Sanaubar: Hassan was actually Baba's son--and Amir's half-brother. But Rahim has more secrets to share. Hassan and his wife have been murdered by the Taliban, and their son, Sohrab--Amir's nephew--is somewhere in Afghanistan. It is this unexpected information that sets Amir off to find Sohrab and tangle with an old enemy--now a Taliban official--along the way.
Hosseini builds suspense throughout Amir's journey, showing the horrors of Taliban terror: the destroyed neighborhoods, the orphaned children, the murders in the soccer stadium and, finally, the unexpected meeting with Assef. Even after Amir manages to escape Assef with Sohrab's help, there are many more obstacles--both mental and physical--for both of them to overcome.