Opening this exciting book covers is diving into a descriptive torrent which drags the reader into the wonderful world of India in the mid-to late 19th century, with all its conflicts, dialects, social structure, customs and a no end of characters that seem to be placed by Providence on the fate of a couple of walkers, as the many millions of pilgrims who travel the vast territory of the Indian Ocean sub-continent.
Among all these walkers, it stands out the search of an old lama after the trail of a
wonderful river (which according to legend had emerged by the action of
an arrow launched by the very Siddhartha, and had the property of washing all sins), accompanied by a young orphan of Irish origin called Kim (whom the streets of the city of Lahore brought him up as a "typical" Indian child), that was also looking for his destiny, said prophetically by his father (former member of the Irish Maverics Regiment) under the sign of the red bull on a green background, bringing a lot of adventures which end up involving both characters in the great game of espionage intrigue. So the friend of everybody and the lama depart to their respective searches which link them on their way to liberation and towards the center of their spirits, where young Kim will find himself in the choice between being agent Kimball O''Hara of Her Majesty''s secret service, or his dear lama''s chela. This is a story the author pointed out, in a way too humble, as a picaresque novel;
but it is actually an extraordinary story of searches, meetings and of an author who was born in that land and, like his character, perhaps learnt to understand and to feel part of the people his own countrymen subjected and never learned to do so.