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The Marketplace series comprises five novels by Laura Antoniou, which describe the experiences of the participants in a highly ritualized fictional BDSM secret society. The Marketplace is notable for being focused as much on character development as erotica, and for the pansexual nature of its setting.
The main thread through these books is the idea of the Marketplace, a secret society of people dedicated to training and selling slaves to qualified masters/mistresses. The books consist of:
Through these books, Antoniou explores the concept of meta-consent, gratification through service, consensual slavery, and the support structures needed to maintain a hidden society. The series has several recurring characters, including the mysterious Chris Parker, a slave trainer who aspires to be a slave himself. Other featured characters include Robin, a young woman who has pushed beyond the structure of dominant/submissive role playing and is trained to be a slave; Anderson, a Master Trainer who not only trains slaves but mentors new trainers; and Michael LaGuardia, an overconfident man who believes he can be a slave trainer. As the series continues, more characters are added, giving the Marketplace universe a rich and complex international feel, with stories taking place in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, and Japan.
The series is frequently cited by BDSM aficionados as one of the most realistic portrayals of a fictional slave-training community, with conscious effort by the author to create a real sense of the economics of the structure while setting the Marketplace within the contemporary real world. There is an enormous diversity of characters in age, body type and sexual orientation. Many conversations between characters explore the nature of dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and the difference between consensual pair-bonded BDSM relationships and being sold as chattel to the highest bidder.