So I ran a poll of readers to see what the overall 'vibe' they got from the Broken Empire Trilogy was. The results are graphed above - the poll, with the categories & question is below.
55% of readers thought the overall feel of the books was on the 'cheerful' side, compared to 41% who felt it was on the 'miserable' side.
For each reader (1) who felt the vibe was 'joyless' there were 28 who felt the books were 'a laugh-riot'.
So... there you have it :)
The exercise was prompted by the suggestion from an author that the sub-genre to which the books are often claimed to belong is defined by the impossibility of joy.